Speed kills and a bit of daring on the base paths doesn’t hurt at all.
Coach Ron Faubion’s LadyStorm softballers swept Central Missouri’s Jennies, 6-2 and 2-1, here Sunday afternoon after the final day of the Southeastern Regional Invitational was canceled because of wet fields at Durant’s Multi-Sports Complex.
Coalgate freshman Laramie Beal, almost pinch-hitting for herself, drilled a solo homer to right-center with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of game two against Central Missouri Sunday afternoon.
That blast, her second of the season, tied the game at 1-1 and set up another dramatic finish for the Storm. Beal started the game in right field and was replaced by Kelsie Overacker in the fifth. She re-entered in the seventh and all was good.
Shortstop Lacie Cook slapped a double down the third-base line and a strikeout made it two away and the game knotted.
Second baseman and leadoff hitter Jessica Simmons turned on the jets to leg out an infield hit. Cook just rounded third and slid past the tag at home for the game-winning run on a piece of heads-up base-running.
A runner seldom scores from second on an infield out.
Southeastern is now 8-3 overall with the sweep of Central Missouri, important in-region and non-conference opponents the Storm rarely get to play because of Great American Conference scheduling.
Coach Faubion said, “We needed to play and we got to play. Both teams were tired in the first game and it showed. I was really pleased with our comeback in the second game.
“These games were not part of the Invitational. Their coach had asked about doing this in case the tournament was rained out. We had our field covered and it was fine.
“I thought Shayna Milam did a great job for us in the first game. We started Mindy (McElroy) and took her out after three innings because she was really tired from Friday and Saturday.
“Shayna pitched four innings, gave up no runs on four hits and struck out two. A win like the last game should give us some confidence going into the Leadoff Classic in Tucson (Arizona) this weekend.”
The Storm had some outstanding defense in center field as Paige Priest ran down a couple of extra-base bids and made a diving catch on a sinker to end an inning in the second game.
LadyStorm 6 - Central Missouri 2:
Southeastern scored three in the bottom of the first with Whitney Hamilton singling home two runs and Cook driving in one. Simmons and Darian Williams each had singles in the uprising and Simmons stole second base.
A pair of Storm errors in the second helped the Jennies to two runs that made it 3-2, SE.
Beal singled in McElroy in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2 and the Storm added a pair in the fourth when Williams walked, stole second and crossed the plate as a throwing error allowed Courtney Moore to reach base. Hamilton thendrove in her third run of the game on a single to left.
The Storm had six runs on nine hits and overcame four errors. The Jennies had two runs on 10 hits and a pair of bobbles.
Williams and Hamilton were each two for three to lead Southeastern. Williams scored twice and Hamilton drove in three runs.
Simmons, Priest, McElroy, Cook and Beal had one hit apiece for the winners.
Ashlea Bengtson topped Central Missouri with three for four and Medora West was two for four.
Milam picked up the win and evened her record at 1-1.
LadyStorm 2 - Central Missouri 1:
The Jennies used three-straight singles to score a run with two out in the third.
It looked like that might be enough for pitcher Jakki Prater as the Storm went scoreless through 6.1 innings.
The late, late show came through once again and the Storm pulled out another close one.
Jacee Bennett outdueled Prater to run her record to 5-1 with one save. She went seven innings, allowed one earned run on five hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Prater pitched 6.2 innings, gave up two earned runs on six hits, walked one and whiffed six.
Simmons paced the Storm with two for four and the winning RBI. Beal was one for three with the game-tying home run. McElroy was one for one in a pinch-hit appearance. Rachel Jones and Cook were one for three each and Cook scored the winning run.
Alex Groeger led the Jennies with two for three and the lone run batted in.