The East Central University softball team earned a sweep of Southern Nazarene in the first day of a two-day series with the Crimson Storm (11-23, 4-16 GAC) at Cypert Athletic Facility. The Lady Tigers (26-8, 12-4 GAC) earned an 8-0 win in five innings in game one and then 8-1 in game two.
ECU was led by senior Shelby Simmons, who went 6-of-7 (.857) at the plate, scoring three runs and adding four RBIs. Sophomore Laruen Bancroft added a .600 average, with three hits and an RBI.
“Shelby had a great day at the plate going 6-for-7 with a triple and several RBIs,” said head coach Destini Anderson.
Freshman Lacey Paulk had a strong day in the circle, going 2-0 and pitching all but one inning in the two games for the Lady Tigers. Paulk improved to 12-1 on the season, allowed five hits, one run, two walks and struck out nine batters.
“Lacey Paulk did a great job in the circle only giving up one hit in the first game and shutting down a good hitting team all day,” added Anderson. “Overall I was happy with our intensity today.”
As a team ECU, hit .429 and allowed just a .128 average by SNU after boasting a 24 to five hitting advantage.
The teams will continue the Great American Conference series, Saturday, March 29 starting at noon.
Game 1 – ECU 8, SNU 0
The Lady Tigers opened the scoring in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead. Freshman Autumn Suydam started ECU off with a bunt single to third. Suydam then stole second and advanced to third on an error by the short stop, which put her in scoring position when Simmons hit a single to left field.
The Lady Tigers pulled away in the top of the fourth, scoring six runs for a 7-0 advantage. Freshman Lauren Reeves, sophomore Kayci Snider and freshman Jordan VanPelt all singled to load the bases with one out. Sophomore Chelsea Patterson then drew a walk for the first run of the inning.
Sophomore Lauren Bancroft added a second run with a single down the left side. Suydam was walked for the third run and Simmons singled down the right side for the fourth run of the inning. Senior Ali Manship sent the final two runs home with a single to center field for the 7-0 lead.
The final run of the game was scored in the fifth inning when Snider hit her fifth home run of the season down the left field line.
Game 2 – ECU 8, SNU 1
The scoring in the second game didn’t start until the third inning when ECU tallied three runs.
Bancroft was walked and Simmons singled through the right side to have two runners on base. Junior Gina Mengwasser earned all three runs with a home run to left field.
The Lady Tigers added two runs for a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning. VanPelt opened the scoring with a home run to left center for the first run. Bancroft was walked and sent home when Simmons hit a triple to left center.
ECU went up 8-0 after a three-run sixth inning. Freshman Leah Tigert singled and Suydam was walked. Bancroft moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Simmons earned the first RBI with a single and Mengwasser added a second with a sacrifice fly to right. Manship sent the final run across the plate with a double down the right field line.
The Crimson Storm broke the goose egg on the scoreboard with a single run in the bottom of the sixth for the 8-1 final.