The East Central University softball team split the final two games of a four-game Great American Conference series with Northwestern Oklahoma State Saturday at Tiger Field.
The Tigers (11-11, 6-6 GAC) picked up a 3-1 win in the opening game and then fell 4-3 in nine innings in Game 2. The Rangers left town at 5-13 overall and 4-8 in the conference.
Junior Aundrea Hamric led ECU with a .500 batting average, two hits and a run in both games. Senior Claresha Clemons added a .333 average, two hits, two runs and an RBI.
Freshman Jessica Sisemore picked up the win in the circle, throwing a complete game. Sisemore allowed four hits and just one run (not earned), while striking out one.
East Central is scheduled to host Ouachita Baptist Friday and Saturday at Tiger Field.
ECU 3, NWOSU 1
Defense was the word of the day in the opening game, with both teams holding each other scoreless through the fourth inning. However, an error in the fifth by the Tigers allowed a run to cross, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
ECU would wait until the bottom of the sixth to score, but when the Tigers did, they took control of the game with three runs. After the first two outs, junior Breecia Crawford and Clemons were both walked, allowing senior Alissa Taylor to earn all three RBIs with a home run to right center to put the hosts on top 3-1.
Sizemore retired the final three NWOSU batters she faced in the seventh to perserve the win.
No player for either team had more than one hit in the contest.
Crawford, a Roff High School product, finished 1-for-1 with a double for the Tigers.
NWOSU 4, ECU 3
Both teams again held each other scoreless for the first two innings, with the Rangers striking first with a run in the third. NWOSU then added a run in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers cut the deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Clemons led off the inning with a double and advanced to second on the second out of the inning. That gave Freshman Tarah Hilton then supplied an RBI single to make it 2-1.
The Rangers added to the lead in the fifth, with a single run, but again ECU tallied a run of its own for a 3-2 score. After a the first out, Hamric hit a bunt single, stole second and then scored on an RBI double by Clemons.
The Tigers then tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the sixth. Sophomore Catherine Barrera and Hilton both reached due to errors and were on the corners. That allowed junior Mariah Ewy to earn an RBI with a sacrifice fly.
The teams buckled back down on defense again and forced extra innings. ECU had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the seventh, but a runner was called out for leaving the base early, negating what would have been the winning run.
Neither team scored in the eighth, but the Rangers were able to get a run across in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Petyon Garrett for the 4-3 advantage.
The Tigers could not get a runner on in the bottom of the inning.