Softball Splits Day One at ATU

No. 5 Southeastern recovered from a rough 4-3 extra-inning loss in the series opener against Arkansas Tech to pick up a 4-3 win in the nightcap on Friday afternoon in Russellville, Ark.

The Savage Storm move to 28-7 overall on the season and 13-3 in Great American Conference play heading into the final two games of the series which are slated for a noon start on Saturday.

In the nightcap, the Storm were facing the proposition of getting swept in a double-header for the first time this season after losing the opener and finding themselves trailing 3-2 heading into the seventh inning.

For perspective, SE has only lost back-to-back games one time this season, with those coming on the opening weekend of the year.

Lauren Renneker opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch and Rachel Jones entered to run for her.

Jessica Simmons laid down a sac bunt, but the ATU pitcher would miss the mark at first allowing Jones to move to third and Simmons to second with no outs.

Lacie Cook would turn the one-run deficit into a one-run lead with one swing of the bat, singling home Jones and Simmons to go ahead 4-3.

Jacee Bennett would set the Golden Suns down in order in the seventh to preserve the win.

Bennett moved to 16-4 on the year after picking up the win in relief thanks to four innings of one-hit softball and four strikeouts.

Mindy McElroy got the start and tossed three innings but allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts.

Southeastern did rack up 10 hits in the second contest, led by a 3-for-4 outing from Cook that included three RBI.

Simmons chipped in a 2-for-3 effort with an RBI and two runs scored.

Darrian Williams, Courtney Moore, Courtney Riddle and McElroy each added a hit.

In the opener, the Storm found itself trailing 2-1 heading to the seventh inning.

Riddle would come to the plate as a pinch-hitter and double to right field with two outs.

Renneker would then come on to pinch-hit as well and single home Riddle to tie the game at 2-2.

Neither team could push a run home in the eighth of ninth innings, forcing the game into the international tie breaker format which begins in the 10th inning and involves a runner being placed on second base to start the inning.

That runner was Paige Priest in the 10th for SE and she would move to third on a Jones sac bunt.

She would remain at third on a Simmons fielder's choice, but Simmons would follow by stealing second and the catcher's throw would miss its mark allowing Priest to score and SE to take a 3-2 lead.

ATU, however, would knot the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th on a two-out bunt single that allowed the tying run to come home.

Cook would open the 11th as the placed runner and move to third on a Williams sac bunt.

SE, however, would be unable to bring her home and left the score tied at 3-3.

The Suns would pick up the win in the bottom of the 11th on an RBI single.

Bennett was handed the loss in relief after tossing 4.2 innings and allowing two runs, both unearned, on four hits with five strikeouts.

McElroy got the start and tossed 5.2 innings and allowed two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits with three strikeouts.

The Storm offense was held to four hits as Cook, Williams, Riddle and Renneker each picked up one.

Moore and Renneker each posted an RBI.