ECU softballers salvage split with visiting SWOSU

Sophomore right-hander Randee Crockett scattered seven hits and struck out seven while Kasey Barber went 2-for-3 with an RBI double as the East Central University Lady Tigers salvaged a Lone Star Conference North softball doubleheader split with a 4-2 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Wednesday at Lady Tiger Field.

SWOSU won the first game 9-4 after pounding out 14 hits and getting a strong pitching effort from Katie Raines.

The split moved ECU to 11-18 overall and 4-14 in the LSC North while the Bulldogs went to 12-20 and 4-10. The two teams will meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. in Weatherford.

ECU 4, SWOSU 2 (Game 2)

Crockett worked seven complete innings and allowed no walks, though she did hit three batters.

The Bulldogs took a quick 1-0 lead in the first off Laiken Lester’s leadoff homer.

But, the Tigers responded in the bottom half of the first as Nicole Sanchez beat out an infield single, moved up to second on Laura Kuestersteffen’s sacrifice bunt. A single by Barber sent Sanchez to third. Barber stole second base, but was tagged out after getting off the bag. Sanchez raced home for the 1-1 tie.

ECU then put together a three-run, three-hit third inning with the help of an SWOSU error. Two of the Lady Tiger runs were unearned in the inning.

Kuestersteffen had a one-out, bunt-single and scored off Barber’s double to right, making it 2-1. Barber ended up scoring off an error as the batter, Desiree’ Nordie, ran all the way to third on the play. Emily Kennemer’s run-scoring single then upped the ECU advantage to 4-1.

SWOSU’s other run came on Krystin Shawver’s RBI single in the fifth. Shawver went 3-for-4 to lead the Bulldog offense.

Starter Kristina Davis (1-1) took the loss after pitching the first three innings.

SWOSU 9, ECU 4 (Game 1)

Sanchez went 2-for-4 form the plate and Stacia Lemons hit her first home run of the season – a solo-shot in the fifth inning - but it was too little as the Lady Tigers were limited to seven hits off Katie Raines, who gave up only one earned run, walked one and struck out five in tossing seven complete innings.

Dana McLaren (3-10) suffered the loss even though she allowed just one earned run (the Bulldogs scored three) in the first three innings. Ellen Estabrooks and Samantha Watson also worked two innings apiece for ECU.

Barber hit an RBI double to right-center in the sixth inning, scoring Hillary Hughes, who led off the frame with a single to cut the deficit to 7-2.

The Lady Tigers then picked up two unearned runs in the seventh as Lemons scored off an error and Sanchez raced home from third off a wild pitch.

Stacy Creger went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Bulldogs. Lester and Brittany Strickland had two hits apiece and pinch-hitter Amy Barrios smacked a three-run triple in the fifth inning.