Two days through the South Central Regional Shootout in Durant, Oklahoma, the ACU softball team has split their first four games, with two left to play on Sunday.
Friday, the ‘Cats defeated Washburn 5-4 and lost to Henderson State 6-8.
In their first game of the Shootout, ACU took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh inning on a two RBI single by junior infielder Sarah Martinez. Sophomore Shelby Hall pitched the complete game, closing out the bottom of the inning to secure the Wildcat victory, denying the Lady Blues of their first win of 2011.
The ‘Cats left 15 runners on base, a stat that easily could have left the team on the losing end had Martinez’s timely hit not brought home freshmen Kaylee Crozier and Ashley Nolan. Senior Candice Miller and Nolan both batted 3-4, and the team record moved above .500 for the first time since the first game of the season.
“We’re really swinging the bats well,” said Head Coach Bobby Reeves. “Nolan hit 6 for 9 on Friday, and the team averaged .367 and .380 in those two Friday games respectively.”
It was a different story for the Wildcats later on Friday afternoon during the game against Henderson State. ACU stranded 13 runners on base and only struck out three State batters, falling to the Lady Reddies 6 runs to 8. The ‘Cats lost a huge opportunity in the sixth inning, failing to score a run despite loading the bases with no outs.
“We left 28 runners on base in two games. That’s definitely something we need to work on,” Reeves said. “We have to bring runners in scoring position home. Our pitchers need to get ahead of the count. We need to play better defense. But we’ll get better as the season goes on.”
On Saturday, the ‘Cats defeated Southern Arkansas University 6-1, and Brittany Rexroat gets the win. But the ladies fell to University of Nebraska-Omaha later in the day 0-7, as Hall failed to win her second pitching matchup in as many days.
“We’ve had some ups and downs; we’ve had some good games and bad games,” Nolan said. “But we’re really coming together as a team, and we have some great potential.”
Sunday, the Wildcats face Central Missouri and Newman University to finish the Shootout.