The East Central University softball split the final day of the four-game Great American Conference series with Henderson State at Dee White Field. The Lady Tigers (11-6, 3-1 GAC) first earned an 11-3 win and then fell 3-4 in the series finale.
ECU was led by sophomore Leah Tigert, who hit .750 for the day. Tigert tallied six hits, scored twice and added four RBIs. Sophomore Lauren Reeves added four hits and three more players tallied two.
Sophomore Lacey Paulk earned the win in the opening game of the day in the circle. Paulk allowed three hits and three runs, while striking out three in six innings. Junior Brianna Nunley suffered the loss in the second game of the day, with seven hits allowed and two K’s.
The Lady Tigers will next be in action, Feb. 28-March 1 when they host their first games of the 2014 season when Arkansas Tech comes to town. The teams will play double-headers each day, with Friday’s games starting at 1 p.m. and Saturday’s at noon at Lady Tiger Field.
Game 1 – ECU 11, HSU 3
The Lady Reddies (5-10, 1-3 GAC) opened the game strong, with three runs in the bottom of the first.
The Lady Tigers responded in the top of the second, with three runs to tie the game. Junior Samantha McGraw reached on a fielder’s choice and redshirt freshman Sydney Dow drew a walk. That put two runners on base for junior Jordynn VanPelt, who hit a three-run homer run.
ECU took a lead in the top of the third and never let go. Junior Chelsea Patterson led off with a single and sophomore Lauren Reeves drew a walk. Sophomore Leah Tigert then added a three-run home run of her own to push the lead to 6-3.
Senior Gina Mengwasser kept things going with a walk and McGraw reached when she was hit by a pitch. After two outs were recorded, junior Lacey Williams added an RBI with a double.
HSU had a chance to score in the bottom of the third, with the bases load, but were unable to capitalize.
The Lady Tigers added two runs in the fourth after a Tigert single and a Mengwasser home run for a 9-3 lead.
The final two runs of the game were scored in the seventh. McGraw singled and sophomore Amanda Edmundson drew a walk. That allowed Williams to advance the runners with a ground out to second. Junior Kaile Marcum sent the first run home on a single and the final run crossed the plate when ECU pulled off the double steal for the 11-3 final.
Game 2 – HSU 4, ECU 3
The Lady Tigers took an early lead in the second game of the day, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Reeves and Tigert both singled and the bases were loaded when Williams reached on an error. McGraw then sent the run home with a single.
ECU added another run to its total in the top of the third for a 2-0 lead. After the first out, Tigert earned a triple and crossed the plate when Williams grounded out to second.
The Lady Reddies cut the disadvantage in half in the bottom of the third win one run and took a 4-2 lead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Lady Tigers kept fighting and were able to cut the deficit to one in the top of the seventh. Junior Kayci Snider drew a one-out walk and was followed on base by singles from Patterson and Reeves. Sophomore Autumn Suydam, who had gone in to run for Snider, was thrown out at home on the play for the second out of the inning. Tigert sent a run home with a single, but that was all ECU was able to do, as they fell 3-4.