Behind an excellent effort from the Shawnee State softball program, the Bears were able to split a doubleheader on Tuesday evening, defeating (RV) Georgetown 7-5 in game one but losing 5-4 in 10 innings in game two.
In the first contest, Georgetown struck with the opening salvo as Kara Howard hit a first inning solo homer for Georgetown. However, Shawnee State immediately responded in the bottom half of the frame as Marissa Brown hit a two-run homer of her own in the bottom half of the first, which drove in Ashtyn Saunders as the Bears took a 2-1 lead after an inning of play.
Two innings later, the pair traded the lead back and forth again. Georgetown’s Katie Young drove home Alli Watson with a double and scored not long after on a single by Chaselyn Allgeier. Again, however, Shawnee State wasn’t deterred, as Tara Duncan launched a go-ahead three-run shot to left field to give Shawnee State a 5-3 lead.
The Bears tacked on two important insurance runs in the sixth inning, as Megan Shupert scored on a Haley Rawlins single, and Rawlins scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. Georgetown got a run back in the top of the seventh but their rally would fall short.
McDermott native McKenzie Whittaker got the win in game one for the Bears. Audrey Dodd would be charged with the loss. Portsmouth’s Miranda Pauley would throw 3.1 innings of one-run softball to be credited with the save.
Game two started poorly again for Shawnee State as Chaselyn Allgeier scored on a single by Chelsae Osborn to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The Tigers then tacked on three more runs in the third inning, as Corrin Robinson drove in two with a double and scored on Allison Watson’s RBI single.
An error, however, gave Shawnee State an opening in the bottom of the third. Ashtyn Saunders reached first when Sydney Goyette misplayed a grounder to give Shawnee State life with two outs. Bevington then walked to put two runners on base, and Marissa Brown drove both in with a RBI double to left-center. Brown then scored herself on Kayla Koch’s RBI double to right center field to get the Bears back into the game, 4-3.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Victoria Bevington blasted a solo home run to left field to tie the game at four apiece.
Neither team scored for the rest of the game until the top of the 10th inning. Using tiebreaker rules, Abigail James began the top of the 10th at second base, and, following a sacrifice bunt, scored on a sacrifice fly to left field. Koch opened the bottom half of the inning on second and got to third on a bunt, but the junior left early on Katie Wolsefer’s flyout to left field, and after a collision at the plate would be called out on appeal to end the game.
Hannah Morton got the win for Georgetown, tossing four scoreless frames for the Tigers. Brooke Blevins was charged with the loss despite putting together a complete game, 10-inning performance. The freshman limited Georgetown to just five runs, four of which were earned.
With the split, Shawnee State moves to 7-8 on the season and is 1-5 in the Mid-South Conference. Georgetown improves to 18-6 and is 1-1 in the league. Shawnee State snapped a six-game losing streak in the first game, while ending Georgetown’s seven-game winning streak as well in the process.
For the season, four Shawnee State players, including Brown, Saunders, Wolsefer and Katlyn Gleich, are batting over .300 on the year, with three of the four holding batting average marks above .350. Saunders leads the team with a .400 batting average, a .444 .OPS, and 13 runs scored, while Brown heads the unit in home runs (two) RBI (19), slugging percentage (.600), and on-base plus slugging (1.015). Wolsefer, along with Brown, heads the unit with four doubles, and each player holds an OPS above .800 for the season.
On the pitching and fielding side of the coin, Blevins heads the unit with her 3.66 ERA, and also leads the team in innings pitched (44) and strikeouts (22). Koch has not committed an error in 86 defensive chances, while Tara Duncan, Megan Shupert, and Katie Wolsefer have only committed three errors combined in 114 defensive opportunities.
Shawnee State softball returns to action on Friday, March 24th when they play the first two of a four-game series against the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.). First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.