Shelby Simmons and Cami Correa each cranked out a two-run homer in the top of the seventh as East Central University’s softball team beat host Northeastern State 5-1 to salvage a Lone Star Conference North softball doubleheader split Saturday at RiverHawks Park.
The win came after NSU won the opener by a 7-2 count.
The Lady Tigers, who moved to 29-12 overall and 6-6 in the LSC North, did win the three-game series (2-1) after claiming a 6-3 decision in the opener of the three-game set on Friday.
The RiverHawks went to 16-24 and 4-8 with Saturday’s split.
ECU 5, NSU 1
The Lady Tigers’ rally in the seventh began when Nicole Sanchez led off with a triple to left-center. Simmons then launched a two-run homer over the right field fence to make it 3-1.
Emily Kennemer followed with a double to left center. Correa then hit her second homer of the series and sixth of the season to give ECU the four-run cushion.
Sanchez hit her first home run of the season – a one-out solo blast in the fifth to tie the game up at 1-all.
Kennemer and Sanchez each had two hits in the Lady Tigers’ eight-hit assault. Kennemer went 2-for-3 with a double and scored a run while Sanchez was also 2-for-3 with her homer and triple to go with the one RBI and two runs scored.
ECU hurler Wanda Malone (17-5) pitched all seven innings and allowed the one earned run off two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
NSU took a 1-0 first-inning advantage on Shelbi Bowen’s run-scoring single through the right side of the infield.
RiverHawk pitcher Caycee Coleman (9-11) took the loss after working all seven innings and allowing the five earned runs with five walks and six strikeouts.
The Lady Tigers stranded nine runners while NSU left four on the bases.
NSU 7, ECU 2
The RiverHawks edged the Lady Tigers in hits, 9-7.
NSU led 1-0 after two innings, upped the lead to 3-0 after three frames and scored four more times in the fifth to make it 7-0.
ECU finally got on the board in the seventh off an RBI double by Sanchez and a run-scoring single from Simmons, but it was too little, too late.
Simmons went 3-for-4 with the one RBI and Sanchez was 2-for-4 with the RBI and run scored.
For the RiverHawks, Kelsi Hilderbrandt hit a two-run homer in the third inning and laced an RBI double down the left field line in the fifth. NSU’s Lisa Ripperger and Rachel Powers added two hits apiece.
Kylee McKinney (2-8) pitched seven complete innings for the win as she allowed the two earned runs with seven hits, three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Starter Randee Crockett (10-7) took the loss after going 4.1 innings and allowing eight hits while walking only one and striking out five. Cassandra Nordie worked the final 1.2 innings and gave up just one hit and struck out one.
ECU’s next action will be a home non-conference doubleheader with Bacone College on Tuesday, beginning at 2 p.m. The Lady Tigers will then host second-ranked Midwestern State in an LSC North three-game series on Thursday and Friday. The two teams will meet in a 3 p.m. single game on Thursday before battling in a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday.
Southwestern takes two
from ECU baseballers
WEATHERFORD – East Central University dropped both ends of a Lone Star Conference baseball doubleheader to Southwestern Oklahoma State, 8-2 and 19-7, Saturday at the SWOSU Park.
ECU dropped to 9-30 on the season and 5-24 in the LSC with the losses while the Bulldogs improved to 29-12 and 20-9.
SWOSU 8, ECU 2
The Bulldogs overcame a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to knock off the Tigers in the doubleheader and series opener.
SWOSU senior right-hander Chris Rogers (3-1) worked six-plus innings, allowing the two earned runs off three hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Tigers’ only two runs came in the top of the third as Dack Howard led off with a single and later scored off Austin Ardery’s RBI double. Ardery later scored off Jeff Schmidt’s run-scoring single.
ECU starter Jeremy Custer (3-7) was tagged with the loss after allowing five earned runs off eight hits with no walks and a strikeout. Jacob Gammons and Josh Rodriguez saw relief duty for the Tigers.
Bulldog leadoff man Andre Yates went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in while teammate James Cloud was 2-for-2 with three runs scored. Kevin Cantrell hit a two-run single in the third and drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to finish with three RBIs.
SWOSU 17, ECU 9
The Bulldogs pounded out 15 hits and overcame four errors in the nightcap.
Despite the loss, Rick Hepworth and Dack Howard homered for the Tigers, who finished with seven hits, but committed three errors of their own.
Max Wheeler had SWOSU’s only home run on a solo-shot in the sixth as he went 3-for-4 with three runs batted and three runs scored. Five other Bulldogs ended up with two hits apiece as Christian Wise knocked in three runs in going 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.
Adrian Dominiguez (4-1) pitched the first five innings for the win as SWOSU also used three relievers in the contest.
ECU starter Julio Davila (1-4) lasted just two-plus innings and suffered the loss. Three other Tigers — Will Grimes, Donny Williams and Hernan Vivas — also saw mound duty.
Hepworth was ECU’s only multiple hitter, going 2-for-5 with the solo-shot (his third homer of the season) and three runs scored. Dack Howard’s home run – a two-run blast – was his second of the year.
Tyle Hankins drove home three runs on a double in the seventh inning in the midst of a five-run frame for the visitors.
The Tigers and Bulldogs will meet again today at 1 p.m. in a nine-inning single game in Weatherford to wrap up the three-game series.