The East Central University softball team split a double-header with Southern Arkansas in Great American Conference action at Lady Tiger Field. The Lady Tigers (23-7, 9-3 GAC) first earned a 5-3 win and then fell 3-11 in five innings.
Junior Gina Mengwasser led ECU with a .600 average, including the game-winning walk-off home run in game one that scored three runs. The Edmond, Okla., native tallied three hits, scored twice and garnered three RBIs for the day.
Freshman Lacey Paulk earned the win in the circle in game one. She recorded 11 strikeouts while holding the Lady Muleriders (17-15, 9-7 GAC) to six hits and three runs.
The Lady Tigers and SAU will resume the four-game series, Saturday, March 23 with a double-header that is slated to start at noon.
Game 1 – ECU 5, SAU 3
The teams held each other scoreless in the first five innings, using strong defense to allow seven hits between the two teams.
SAU got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the top of the sixth on two hits for the 0-3 lead.
The Lady Tigers waited until the seventh to get their bats going and tallied five runs for the 5-3 win.
Sophomore Peyton Watson started the inning off by being hit by a pitch and was sent to third when sophomore Chelsea Patterson reached on an error. Freshman Autumn Suydam moved Patterson to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Senior Shelby Simmons earned the first RBI with a groundout to short. Sophomore Lauren Bancroft added a second run to the scoreboard with single down the right side, leaving two runners on base.
That brought up Mengwasser, who hit a home run that bounced off the top of the fence at center field for the winning runs.
Game 2 – SAU 11, ECU 3
The Lady Muleriders wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in game two, scoring a run in the top of the first inning.
The Lady Tigers took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Mengwasser started the inning with a double to left center and was joined on base when Bancroft singled to second base. Sophomore Kayci Snider moved the runners to second and third with a ball hit back to the pitcher for an out.
Sophomore Lacey Williams sent the first run across the plate with a single to left center. Suydam earned the final two RBIs with a double down the left field line.
However, that was all the scoring that ECU would get and SAU added four runs in the third and six in the fourth for the 3-11 win.