SE Softball Downs Pair of Top-10 Foes

Southeastern showed it was ready to compete with the nation's best teams as it opened play at the 2013 NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic with wins over No. 8 Augustana and No. 2 California-San Diego.

The Savage Storm came out on top in a pair of pitching duels, downing the Vikings 1-0 in the opener before handing UCSD a come-from-behind 2-1 loss in game two.

The wins lift SE to 10-3 overall on the season heading into a pair of Saturday contests against No. 6 Minnesota State-Mankato at 10 am and Missouri-St. Louis at 12 p.m.

Neither contest was short on drama, as the opener went scoreless into the fourth inning when Jessica Simmons drew a walk and stole second.

She moved to third on a Paige Priest single and came home one batter later on a Darrian Williams single to score the game's only run.

Game two provided even more tension as the teams entered the seventh inning in a scoreless tie.

UCSD struck first with a run in the top of the seventh courtesy of an SE error.

The Storm started its rally with a Whitney Hamilton infield single, with Kaija Morris coming on to run for her.

She moved to second on a Jacee Bennett single and both moved up a base on a Laramie Beal sac bunt.

Morris would knot the game at 1-1 when Lacie Cook laid down a bunt and Morris beat the throw to the plate.

With Cook at first and Bennett on third, SE rolled the dice again with Rachel Jones laying down the second-straight squeeze play and Bennett beating out the throw to the plate for the walk-off win.

Bennett collected both wins on the day, getting the start against Augustana and tossing a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts across from one walk.

Mindy McElroy earned the start in game two and tossed five scoreless innings before handing the ball to Bennett who tossed two innings and allowed one unearned run on one hit.