The East Central University softball team added two wins to their season total in the first day of the Tarleton State Tournament. The Lady Tigers (5-2) claimed an 8-4 win in the first game of the day over Texas-Permian Basin and then earned a 13-5 win in five innings over Oklahoma Panhandle State.
ECU was led by senior Ali Manship, who tallied a .625 batting average, five hits, two home runs and three RBIs on the day. Sophomores Lacey Williams and Lauren Bancroft each tallied a .571 batting average, four hits and a home run, while Bancroft added four RBIs. The Lady Tigers recorded 27 hits, 21 runs scored and five home runs on the day.
“We had a great day at the plate with five home runs and 21 runs scored,” said head coach Destini Anderson. “I’m proud of our approach at the plate.”
Sophomore Lacey Paulk earned a win in the circle against UTPB (1-6), ending her six innings of work with a 2.33 ERA and eight strike outs. Manship picked up her fourth win and third complete game of the season, with five innings of work against OPSU (2-3). She recorded three strike outs and had an ERA of 5.60.
“Paulk came in as relief against Texas-Permian Basin and mixed it up well and Ali threw another great game against Oklahoma Panhandle State.”
The Lady Tigers will play both the Falcons and the Aggies again tomorrow in the final day of the Tarleton State Tournament. ECU will battle with OPSU at 11 a.m. and UTPB at 4 p.m.
Game 1 vs. Texas-Permian Basin
The Falcons opened the game by hitting a home run in the first at-bat to take a 0-1 lead. UTPB added a second run in the top of the second to go up 0-2.
The Lady Tigers had a chance to score in the second inning, but converted in the third. Senior Ali Manship started the inning with a single to short and freshman Autymn Suydam went in to run for Manship and stole second. The bases were loaded after junior Gina Mengwasser was hit by a pitch and sophomore Lacey Williams put down a bunt single.
Sophomore Peyton Watson earned the first RBI with a single to RC and the second run was scored when sophomore Lauren Bancroft reached on an error. ECU added two more runs in the inning on singles from freshman Leah Tigert and a fielder’s choice play by freshman Jordynn VanPelt to take a 4-2 lead.
The Lady Tigers held on to the advantage until the top of the fifth when UTPB tallied two runs on three hits to tie the game at four.
ECU broke the stalemate in the bottom of the sixth inning, with four runs off four hits. Senior Shelby Simmons opened the inning with a single to right center and was brought around when Manship hit a two-run home run to left center. Mengwasser hit a second home run at the next at bat to put the Lady Tigers up 7-4. Williams added a double to right center and was advanced to third on a ground out by Watson and scored when Bancroft grounded out to the pitcher for a score of 8-4.
The ECU defense held strong in the top of the seventh and allowed no runs to earn the 8-4 win.
Game 2 vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State
The Lady Tigers wasted no time scoring in the second game of the tournament, with four runs in the first inning against OPSU. Freshman Autymn Suydam and Simmons started the game off by earning walks and the bases were loaded when Manship hit a single to short. Suydam then walked across the plate on a balk by the Aggies pitcher.
Mengwasser was walked to load the bases again and Simmons scored on a second balk. Williams then loaded the bases again, by drawing the fourth walk of the inning. Bancroft sent the last two runs of the inning across the plate on a double to center field for the 4-0 lead.
ECU made the score 7-0 in the third. Reeves started the inning with a single to center field and advanced to second on the throw and then stole third base. Sophomore Kaile Marcum was walked and stole second to put runners on second and third. Suydam reached on an error by the third baseman that allowed a run to score. Two more runs scored when Simmons reached on an error as well.
The Lady Tigers added three more runs in fourth. Mengwasser reached on an error and Williams hit a single to short to start the inning. Bancroft then hit into a fielder’s choice that put Mengwasser out. Reeves earned an RBI with a single up the middle and VanPelt added a second run with a double to right center. The final run of the inning was scored when Suydam hit a single to third.
The Aggies got on the board in the fourth inning, scoring three runs to cut the advantage to 10-3.
ECU then added three runs in the top of the fifth inning on home runs by Manship, Williams, and Bancroft to go up 13-3.
OPSU added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough, as the Lady Tigers earned the run-rule win after the fifth inning.