MONTICELLO, Ark. – Darrian Williams has started several rallies this year with leadoff walks and she went one better Friday in Monticello.
The first game of a scheduled doubleheader was wiped out because of rain Thursday night and the teams didn’t get started until 4 p.m. in a single game that will make it a 3-game series instead of the usual four games.
Williams was hitless in two tries before it really counted in the top of the eighth in a scoreless tie with Arkansas-Monticello.
Williams slashed a 2-2 count to right field and pitcher Mindy McElroy followed with her second single to put Storm runners at first and second.
Jessica Simmons laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved both runners and Lacie Cook’s sac bunt drove in Williams with what proved to be the winning run as the LadyStorm scored five runs on six hits in the top of the eighth and defeated the Cotton Blossoms 5-0.
Southeastern is now 24-10 overall and 17-6 in Great American Conference competition.
UA-M dipped to 22-18 and 13-14.
A Saturday twinbill was scheduled for a noon start.
Storm coach Ron Faubion said, “Our kids were really excited to win a game like this. It was a total team effort with Jacee Bennett coming in to get that big, big strikeout when we really needed it and Mindy McElroy pitching the way she did.
“It’s tough being on the road and you haven’t scored. The home team always gets to bat last and you just can’t afford any mistakes, especially late in a game.
“We had 11 hits and got down some good bunts. Maybe this one will get things turned around for the stretch run.”
Southeastern left runners on base in the third, fifth and seventh inning before the big explosion in the eighth.
McElroy scattered six hits and pitched 7.2 innings to run her record to 13-4. She struck out five and walked only one.
She needed a spot of help in the fifth when the Cotton Blossoms opened with a double, added a single and a fielder’s choice that nipped the lead runner.
Jacee Bennett came on in relief and did what she does best, delivering a huge strikeout of Beth Johnson, UA-M’s three-hole hitter.
McElroy returned to the circle and finished the game.
There was no indication that either team had an explosion locked away until the top of the eighth.
Williams started it with her single and the Storm went on to score five runs on six hits and break a scoreless game wide open.
Shortstop Haley Strawn was the hitting standout for the LadyStorm with four singles and one RBI in four trips to the plate. Her last single drove in an important insurance run.
McElroy helped herself with a two for three performance at the plate and Arianna Jones was two for four with one RBI.
Sydney Kramer, Laramie Beal and Williams were each one for four. Kramer drove in a run, Beal drove in a run and Williams scored the winning run.