Southeastern took care of business here Friday with a 4-0, 11-2 (five innings) sweep of Southwestern in Great American Conference softball action.
Hits were scarce in the first game and Jessica Simmons provided two of SE’s three hits and scored three of the four runs. She also walked and stole two bases.
Mindy McElroy took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and lost it when Adrienne Martinez led off with a grounder up the middle that turned into a hit when Storm shortstop Haley Strawn went full out in a dive to glove the ball. Strawn was unable to make the throw and that was the lone hit allowed by McElroy, who pitched her 10th complete game and improved to 17-6 on the season.
Shayna Milam pitched the first three innings of game two, allowing no runs on three hits. She was the winning pitcher (6-2) since the game went only five innings on the run-rule.
Arianna (A.J.) Jones was two for three with two runs scored and one batted in to lead the LadyStorm offense.
Brittany Wilson, who had entered the game in the fifth as SE’s first baseman, made the most of her one at-bat in the shortened game as she orbited a one-strike pitch over the scoreboard in left field to plate Whitney Hamilton and Rachel Jones ahead of her on a walk-off 3-run homer.
Coach Ron Faubion’s young ladies improved to 31-13 overall and 24-9 in GAC competition.
Faubion said, “It was good to see the kids bounce back after the Northwestern games. We needed these games and we also had a chance to play lots of people (16 in the second game).
“Mindy had a great game in the opener. I hate it that she missed the no-hitter, but the infield hit to short was legitimate.
“Jessica Simmons was all over the place, getting two hits, scoring three runs and stealing two bases in the first game.
“Haley Strawn was playing with a busted finger on her throwing hand. Brittany Wilson had the big homer in the second game. Lauren Renneker had a double and drove in four runs. A.J. was two for five, scored two and drove in one.
“Sydney Kramer was one for three and drove in three of our four runs in the first game. Shaina Crites was one for one and scored a run.
“Everybody contributed to the wins and that’s what we need the rest of the way. We can’t afford any mistakes or let-downs this close to the finish line.”
Southeastern and Southwestern were scheduled to finish the weekend series with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.
An error with two outs in the third broke up McElroy’s perfect game, but she carried the no-hitter into the seventh.
Simmons scored the eventual winning run in the first when she legged out an infield hit, stole second and scored on Kramer’s single to left.
Simmons and Crites each scored in the third on a sac bunt by Cook and fielder’s choice by Kramer.
Simmons scored the last run of the game in the fifth on a walk, stolen base, Lacie Cook’s third sac bunt of the game and another fielder’s choice by Kramer.
The Storm set the pattern for this one with a 6-run outburst in the first inning.
This was done on just one hit, Renneker’s 3-run double. Three walks, an error and a wild pitch did the damage.
The Storm added two in the third and Wilson handled the fifth with her first home run of the season.
The Lady Bulldogs picked up single runs in the fourth and fifth, but it was simply too little, too late.
A.J. led the Storm with two for three. Wilson, Crites and Whitney Hamilton were each one for one.