BETHANY, OKLA. - The East Central University softball team split the first two games of the Great American Conference series at Southern Nazarene. The Tigers (20-23, 17-15 GAC) took game one 7-2 and then fell 1-2 in 10 innings in the night cap.
ECU was led by senior Autumn Suydam, who hit .500 for the day with four hits, one run and two RBIs.
Senior Marissa Shaffer picked up the win in the circle in a complete game. She allowing nine hits and two runs and struck out three. Senior Lacey Paulk suffered the loss in game two, but struck out 10 batters.
The teams will wrap up the series, Saturday, April 9 with a double-header set to start at noon in Bethany, Okla.
East Central 7, Southern Nazarene 2
The Tigers were the first to score, taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Freshman Mariah Ewy got ECU started when she reached due to an error and ended up on second. Freshman Ellanee Allison sent Ewy to third on a sacrifice bunt before senior Taylor Davis was walked and stole a base to put runners on second and third. That allowed Suydam to earn two RBIs with a double to right center.
The Crimson Storm (21-23, 12-20 GAC) cut the deficit in half in the fourth with a single run (2-1).
The Tigers responded by adding two runs to their lead in the fifth for a 4-1 lead. Ewy led off the inning with a solo home run down the left field line. After the first two outs, Suydam singled and stole second, which put her in scoring position when senior Jordynn VanPelt singled to center.
ECU then added three more runs in the sixth for a 7-1 advantage. Reeves started things with a double and was sent to third on the first out. Freshman Caitlin Paolini earned the first RBI with a single to left.
Freshman Madison Thompson was added to the base path when she was hit by a pitch and the second out sent the runners to second and third. Freshman Breecia Crawford loaded the bases by drawing a walk, which set up Taylor Davis for two RBIs with a single up the middle.
SNU tried to make a come-back in the bottom of the inning, but was only able to get a single run for the 7-2 victory.
Southern Nazarene 2, East Central 1 (10)
The second game of the day went into extra innings and was a pitchers dual, with just three total runs scored.
SNU scored the first run in the bottom of the first to take a 0-1 advantage.
The Tigers were held without a run until the sixth, when the tied the game at one. Reeves started the inning with a single to left and was joined on base when junior Sydney Dow drew a walk. Both runners were sent to second and third on a wild pitch, allowing a run to score when Paulk singled to the pitcher.
The teams then buckled down and held each other scoreless through the regulation seven inning and into the bottom of the 10th when the Crimson Strom earned the win on a solo home run.