SOSU Softball Opens Regional Play with Win

Seventh-seeded Southeastern opened play in the NCAA Central Region tournament by downing the host and No. 2 seed Minnesota State-Mankato, 5-3, on Friday afternoon in Mankato, Minn.

The win lifts the Savage Storm to 39-17 on the year and the team will next face the winner between No. 3 seed Emporia State and No. 6 seed Central Oklahoma at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The win avenges a loss to MSU-M that ended SE's season in regionals a season ago in Mankato.

The top third of the lineup combined for six of the team's nine hits with Jessica Simmons, Lacie Cook and Sydney Kramer each posting two hits.

Haley Strawn, Courtney Riddle and Arianna Jones each added a hit as well.

Riddle's hit was a two-run home run, while Kramer and Strawn each added an RBI as well.

Mindy McElroy picked up her 25th win of the season after tossing 7.0 inning and allowing three runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.

The Storm came into the contest as the visiting team and took advantage of batting first with Simmons opening the game with a single, followed by another single by Cook.

Each moved up on a wild pitch which was followed by a Kramer RBI single that plated Simmons for a 1-0 lead.

Laramie Beal would draw a walk to load the bases, and after MSU recorded its first out, Riddle would drive in the second run when she reached on an error by the left fielder as SE staked a 2-0 lead.

The Mavericks answered in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff home run by Samantha Holien to cut the gap to 2-1.

The Storm would find its way back on the scoreboard in the third inning, with Kramer picking up a one-out double and scoring on a two-out single by Strawn for a 3-1 lead.

That lead stretched to 5-1 just one batter later when Riddle connected on a two-run shot to left.

SE allowed just two base runners for MSU in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but the Mavericks added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to close the gap to 5-3 on RBI doubles by Kelly Wood and Ashley Thell.

SE was unable to add to its lead in the top of the seventh, but McElroy opened the bottom of the seventh by coaxing groundouts before allowing a single.

That hit would matter little as she would end the game by forcing Holien to ground out back to her.

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