The East Central University softball team earned a sweep in the second Great American Conference double-header at Southwestern Oklahoma State. The Lady Tigers (15-5, 3-1 GAC) first earned a 10-2 five-inning win and then came-from-behind to take a 5-3 win in game two.
“Ali Manship and our defense did a good job keeping us in the second game,” said head coach Destini Anderson. “Our bats came around in the last inning. Every player on our team contributed to that last win and it was good to see that kind of team effort.”
ECU was led by freshman Leah Tigert, who hit .857 in seven at-bats, with six hits, one run, one double, one triple and six RBIs. Sophomore Chelsea Patterson added a .750 average, with three hits. Senior Shelby Simmons and junior Gina Mengwasser were also over .500 for the game. Simmons tallied four hits, including one home run and Mengwasser added two hits, with a home run.
Sophomore Lacey Paulk earned the win in game one, throwing a complete game and striking out five batters and earning an ERA of 1.40. Senior Ali Manship was the winner in the circle in game two in a complete game.
The Lady Tigers hit .375 as a team and held the Lady Bulldogs (6-14, 2-6 GAC) to a .256 average. ECU also forced the Southwestern pitching staff into an ERA of 7.58 for the day.
The Lady Tigers will return home for a four-game GAC series with Arkansas-Monticello, March 8-9. The first double-header will start at 1 p.m., Friday March 8 at 1 p.m. and the second double-header is scheduled to start at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 9 at Lady Tiger Field.
ECU 5 Southwestern 3
The Lady Bulldogs opened the scoring in the second game, with two runs in the bottom of the second.
ECU earned its first run of the game when Mengwasser garnered her sixth home run of the season in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 1-2.
Southwestern added a run in the bottom of the fifth for a 1-3 advantage that they held onto until the top of the seventh inning.
The Lady Tigers then went to work in the last inning, scoring four runs to gain a 5-3 advantage. Patterson started the inning off with a single to left field and was joined on base by Simmons, who drew a walk. Manship earned the first RBI when she flew out to right field and Patterson scored on a throwing error.
Mengwasser then walked and was sent home, along with Simmons, on a game-winning double to right center by Tigert. Sophomore Kayci Snider added the final run with a single down the right side.
The Lady Tigers defense then held strong in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a lead-off single, but they garnering three-straight outs for the win.
ECU 10, Southwestern 2
ECU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, tallying two runs in the top of the first. As the second batter of the inning, Simmons hit a solo home run over the fence at right center. Manship then got on base with a single and was sent to third when Tigert hit a single down the right field line. She was sent home when freshman Jordynn VanPelt reached on a fielding error.
The Lady Tigers moved the score to 5-0 in the top of the second. Freshman Lauren Reeves reached on a single to the left side and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Patterson. The bases were loaded when sophomore Lauren Bancroft walked and Simmons singled down the left side.
The Lady Bulldogs managed to save one run when Manship reached on a fielder’s choice and Reeves was thrown out at home. However, Mengwasser was hit by a pitch to send one run across the plate. Tigert and VanPelt each earned RBIs with singles for the 5-0 lead.
ECU made the score 9-0 in the top of the third. Patterson reached on an error, Bancroft walked and Simmons singled to the right side to load the bases. Manship added an RBI to her season totals with a single and Mengwasser was hit by a second pitch to score a second run. Tigert then hit a single up the middle that scored the final two runs of the inning.
Southwestern broke the goose egg of the scoreboard with a single run in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Tigers added a run in the bottom of the fourth for a 10-1 lead.
Mengwasser reached on a single and freshman Autumn Suydam went in to run for her. Suydam stole second and was scored when Tigert hit a triple to right center.
The Lady Bulldogs tried to cut the deficit and force the game into more innings, but they were only able to score one run in the bottom of the fifth for the 10-2 final.