ADA - The East Central University softball team secured a spot in the 2015 Great American Conference Championship by claiming a series sweep of Southwestern Oklahoma State with 9-6 and 10-5 wins on the annual Senior Day at Tiger Field.
The Tigers (24-13, 21-8 GAC) were paced by junior Autumn Suydam, with a .714 average, five hits, two runs and three RBIs. Suydam was one of five players for ECU with over a .500 batting average for the day.
Junior Marissa Shaffer earned a complete game win in the second game of the day, throwing seven innings, allowing five hits, five runs and striking out six. Junior Lacey Paulk picked up the win in game one, throwing the final two outs of the second game.
ECU will now get ready for the final two series of the season on the road, starting with an April 17-18 series at Northwestern Oklahoma State.
Game 1 - ECU 9, SWOSU 6
The Tigers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first two innings, with runs scored in each. However, the Bulldogs (7-31, 3-22 GAC) tied the game at two in the top of the third.
ECU then took a lead in the bottom of the third, 3-2. Junior Jordynn VanPelt started things with a single and after the next two outs was on third. Senior Samantha McGraw then sent her home with a single up the middle.
The score remained 3-2 until the top of the seventh, when SWOSU jumped out to a 3-6 advantage.
However, the Tigers were not fazed and after the first out in the bottom of the seventh, senior Peyton Watson singled to right. Junior Lauren Reeves was added to the base path with a walk and the runners were sent to second and third on the next out. Suydam then sent two runs home with a single to center field. The bases were then loaded with walks by senior Lacey Williams-Wenholm and senior Kayci Snider.
That brought junior Taylor Davis to the plate, and she did not disappoint. Davis hit a shot over the left field fence for a walk off grand slam and the 9-6 win.
Game 2 - ECU 10, SWOSU 5
ECU continued to rack up the runs in game two, scoring two runs in the second to take the lead for good. Reeves singles and after two outs was on third. Williams-Wenholm earned an RBI with a double to right and Snider sent the second run home with a single up the middle.
The Tigers added three runs in the third for a 5-0 lead. VanPelt and Watson singled to allow Reeves to earn an RBI on a ground out. McGraw then earned two RBIs with a home run to left center.
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 5-3 in the top of the fifth, but ECU responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning for an 8-3 advantage.
The runs were scored on a single by Watson, a wild pitch and a single to left by Suydam.
The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth. The bases were loaded with a Davis walk, Marcum single and Watson getting hit by a pitch. Reeves then drove in two runs with a single to left and a 10-3 lead.
SWOSU tried to make a come-back in the seventh, but the Bulldogs were only able to score two runs for the 10-5 final.