Tigers settle for split with rival Southeastern

East Central softball infielders Megan Lesko (8), Taylor Spence (2), Jami Watson and Miranda Garza (20) stand in the circle during the playing of the National Anthem earlier this spring. The Tigers split a doubleheader with old rival Southeastern Tuesday in Durant.

DURANT – The East Central University softball team traveled to Durant for a doubleheader matchup against rival Southeastern on Tuesday and left town with a split

East Central dropped a 5-1 decision in the opener before blanking the Savage Storm 3-0 in the nightcap.

ECU now sits at 9-12 overall and 6-5 in Great American Conference play. Southeastern moved to 14-13 and 8-3. 

In the opener, the Tigers struck first with a solo homer from Cheyenne Adair — a junior from Latta High School — to put the Tigers out front 1-0 in the second inning.

ECU held Southeastern scoreless before a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the third drove in a Savage Storm run to tie the game 1-1.

Southeastern managed to take the lead in the fifth after a solo homer by C Mahy that put the Savage Storm ahead 2-1.

The Tigers only scattered four hits from the third to the seventh inning while the Savage Storm tabbed three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to set the final score 5-1.

Taryn O’Brien took the loss, pitching five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Lauren HerrNeckar came in relief, going one inning and giving up two runs on two hits.

Jayna Reid went 3-for-3, while Adair went 2-for-3 and picked up an RBI to pace the ECU offense. Elyse LeClair, Miranda Garza and Zoe Acosta each added a hit.

In Game 2, Taia Harris tossed a complete game for her first shutout of the season.

ECU opened the scoring once again after Elyse LeClair was hit by pitch, advanced to second off Megan Lesko’s single, and came home from Gabi Quintanilla’s groundout to lead 1-0.

While Southeastern struggled to find their way around the bases, ECU tacked on another run in the third. LeClair led off with a double, advanced to third from Jayna Reid’s sac bunt, then crossed home plate after Lesko’s sac fly to put the hosts on top 2-0.

The Tiger offense slowed down until the sixth inning when Quintanilla singled to right field to drive home Lesko and set the final score 3-0.

Harris struck out four, walked just one and allowed just four hits in the seven-inning shutout.

Lesko led ECU at the plate with two hits and an RBI, while Elyse LeClair, Gabi Quintanilla and Vanessa Tamayo each had one hit.

The Tigers will hit the road Friday to take on Ouachita Baptist University in a GAC series. The first pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

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