The East Central University softball team earned victories in the opening two games of the Great American Conference series with Ouachita Baptist at Lady Tiger Field. ECU first earned a 2-0 shutout win and then a 7-3 victory.
The Lady Tigers (31-22, 21-17 GAC) were paced by junior Kaile Marcum, who hit .571 for the day, with four hits. Sophomore Chelsea Patterson added a .500 average with three hits, two runs and two RBIs.
Redshirt freshman Sydney Dow earned a win in the opening game of the day, recording her third shutout of the season, while striking out nine and only allowed three hits. Junior Brianna Nunley added a win in the night cap, allowing six hits and three runs and striking out four.
“I like what I’m seeing from our team right now,” said head coach Destini Anderson. “The pitchers are doing their jobs in the circle and the defense is backing them up. Everyone is contributing offensively from the top to the bottom of the lineup. We need to continue to build on this momentum tomorrow and take it into the conference tournament.”
The teams will wrap up the series, Saturday, April 26 at noon. ECU will honor its two seniors (Gina Mengwasser & Tarra Underhill-Christy) prior to the start of the game, with the festivities starting around 11:40 a.m.
Game 1 – ECU 2, OBU 0
The opening game of the day was a pitching duel between Dow and Abbi Frakes, who allowed just four hits and two runs.
Both teams remained scoreless until the Lady Tigers were up in the bottom of the fourth and scored two runs.
Senior Gina Mengwasser started the inning by reaching on an error and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Jordynn VanPelt. Sophomore Autumn Suydam sent Mengwasser to third when she reached on an error in the outfield that put her on second.
After the second out of the inning, Patterson earned the two RBIs for the game with a single.
Through the first game, OBU (17-35, 12-26 GAC) earned a total of three hits and left five runners on base, but was unable to get a runner past second.
Game 2 – ECU 7, OBU 3
OBU came out stronger in the second game of the day, scoring a run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead.
ECU didn’t waste time responding, scoring five runs in the bottom of the second. Junior Kayci Snider started by drawing a walk and was followed on base by Patterson and junior Lacey Williams with singles to load the bases.
That allowed junior Samantha McGraw to earn two RBIs with a single up the middle. The two remaining bases runners then earned stolen bases to be on second and third. After the first out, junior Lauren Reeves sent a run home with a single.
Mengwasser loaded the bases again by drawing a walk and VanPelt earned the final two RBIs of the inning with a single up the middle.
The Lady Tiger added a run in the bottom of the third to take a 6-1 advantage. Patterson singled and was sent home on a double by McGraw.
ECU made it 7-1 with a run in the bottom of the sixth. McGraw and Marcum singled and Reeves hit into a fielder’s choice that left runners at first and second. Mengwasser loaded the bases by drawing another walk and VanPelt earned the RBI with a sacrifice fly to right.
OBU kept fighting and was able to add two runs in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough to force the game to continue and the Lady Tigers claimed the 7-3 win.