Frigid temperatures and a precipitation-filled weekend could not slow down the ACU softball team, as the Wildcats went 3-0 and improved their record to 6-1 following an undefeated weekend of softball.
The Wildcats dominated their competition, winning by a combined score of 21-3 against the likes of East Central and Missouri Southern.
“This was a great weekend for us,” head coach Bobby Reeves said. “We were really clicking on all cylinders and our players came to play in each of the games.
ACU was tabbed to host the Whitten Inn Classic from Friday-Sunday, but frigid temperatures snagged three games from the ACU team that Reeves would like to get back.
“You know, there’s not much you can do about the weather. That’s simply part of the game,” he said. “There’s a really fine line between toughing it out and playing and being stupid. You have to go with your gut feeling, and we felt like the weather was too much of a factor to play in.”
In Friday’s first game against East Central, the Wildcats overcame an early 2-0 deficit in comeback fashion en route to winning 4-3.
Sophomore outfielder Courtney Flanary blasted a pinch-hit, walk-off RBI double in the sixth inning to send the ‘Cats to the dugout victorious. Flanary stepped into the batter’s box with two on and two out and ripped an Ali Manship pitch down the left field line, scoring Sara Vaughn and ending the game.
“Courtney stepped in and did a fantastic job in the situation she was put it,” Reeves said. “That’s one thing about our bunch: every one of us can hit and we have lots of depth on our bench. I feel confident in asking anyone to step in and hit in that situation. I’m glad it was Courtney.”
Transfer pitcher Caitlyn Crain (3-0) threw another complete game in the contest, scattering ten hits and allowing three runs.
“Caitlyn threw a great game,” Reeves said. “She has complete confidence in the defense behind her to make plays, and that allows them to do their job. That shows the maturity of a pitcher, not doing too much and allowing the defense to do its job.”
The Wildcats dominated the latter half of the Friday doubleheader, stomping the Tigers 9-0 in five innings, and completing the sweep.
ACU scored at least one run in all five innings of the contest.
“Our offense is doing a fantastic job hitting the ball right now,” Reeves said. “They’re kind of on a hot streak and we’re going to ride it. I can’t express how excited I am about their production so far.”
Sophomore Lyndi Smith had two RBI’s in the contest, as she hit a solo homerun in the second and had a sacrifice fly in the third.
“When Lyndi makes contact with the ball, it goes places,” Reeves said. “She has really come on this season, and she hits the ball as hard as anybody I’ve ever coached.”
The Wildcats scored three runs in the fourth, aided by three singles, three stolen bases, a wild pitch and a throwing error by the Tigers.
Junior infielder Kimberly Briggs brought the game to a close when she smoked a two-run homerun in the fifth to end the game due to the eight-run mercy rule.
Starter Peyton Mosley went the distance and surrendered only four hits, not allowing a single Tiger baserunner past second base.
Saturday, the Wildcats thumped Missouri Southern 8-3, and the offense was the story once again.
Senior Megan Brigance and Smith each had two RBI’s, and junior Shelby Hall threw a complete game against the Lions.
The 20-mile per hour winds and chilly air did not halt the Wildcats, as the team completed its homestand in style.
Brigance hit a ground-rule double in the fourth that scored three runs to put ACU up 7-1
Hall (2-0) retired the first ten batters she faced and allowed all three runs between the fourth and fifth innings.
The Lions used three pitchers against the ‘Cats, but ACU hit whoever was on the mound as their bats continued to stay hot.
“We’re in a great place right now,” Reeves said. “We are playing very balanced and confident softball. If we continue to do that, the sky is the limit for how far this team can go.”
The Wildcats, carrying a six-game winning streak, return to action at the Midwestern State Classic on Friday at 3 p.m. against Midwestern State.