The East Central University softball team split the final day of the Great American Conference series with Southern Nazarene at the Cypert Athletic Facility. The Lady Tigers (27-9, 13-5 GAC) came back to win the first game 9-6 and then lost in the final inning 6-7 in game two.
ECU was led by junior Gina Mengwasser at the plate. Mengwasser hit .714, with five hits, two home runs, two runs scored and four RBIs. Freshman Autumn Suydam hit .600 for the day, with three hits and three runs scored.
Sophomore Brianna Nunley earned the decision in both games, moving to 5-4 on the season after coming in as a reliever in both games. Nunley pitched eight innings, allowing 13 hits, five runs (three earned), four walks and striking out four batters.
The Lady Tigers will continue their road trip, Tuesday, April 2 when they travel to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma for a double-header starting at 2 p.m.
Game 1 – ECU 9, SNU 6
The Crimson Storm (11-25, 4-18 GAC) opened the game by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first.
The Lady Tigers started their come-back in the second inning, by cutting the disadvantage in half. Mengwasser started the inning off by hitting a home run to left center. Senior Ali Manship then added a double to left center and was in scoring position for sophomore Kayci Snider. Snider hit a sacrifice fly for the second run and to cut the lead to 2-4.
ECU added a third run in the third inning to move to 3-4. Suydam singled down the left side, stole second and was sent to third on a wild pitch. Mengwasser then added an RBI with a single to right field.
SNU pushed ahead again in the fourth inning, with two more runs (3-6).
The Lady Tigers made a key push in the fifth inning and took a 7-6 lead after scoring four runs. Suydam started the inning off with a bunt single. Mengwasser then single down the right side to put two runners on base. Manship earned an RBI with a single to second base.
Freshman Lauren Reeves reached on a fielder’s choice and Snider reached on an error to load the bases. Freshman Jordynn VanPelt earned three RBIs with a double to center field.
ECU added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Manship was hit by a pitch and was sent home when Reeves doubled to left center. VanPelt added the final run with a single up the middle.
Game 2 – SNU 7, ECU 6
The Lady Tigers came out fighting in the first inning, scoring two runs. Sophomore Lauren Bancroft singled to right field and was advanced to second on a sacrifice fly by Suydam. Mengwasser then hit her second home run of the day to left center for the 2-0 lead.
SNU cut into the advantage, with a single run in the bottom of the first.
ECU took a 6-1 lead after a four-run second inning. Freshman Leah Tigert started the inning off by reaching on an error. Sophomore Chelsea Patterson then sent her home with a triple to left center. Bancroft got on base with a bunt single, stole second and was advanced to third on a wild pitch that scored Patterson.
Suydam drew a walk and stole second to put two runners in scoring position when senior Shelby Simmons singled to center field.
However, that was when things started to turn against ECU. The Crimson Storm started a come-back by scoring two runs in the third, a run in the fourth and sixth and then the winning run in the seventh.