Coach Ron Faubion’s LadyStorm softballers teased the fans with an outstanding 2-0 win over Arkansas-Monticello and star pitcher Kendra Coleman in Saturday’s first Great American Conference game.
Coleman pitched six perfect innings in a 5-1 win on Friday afternoon. The Storm put the first blemish on her perfect season and handed out her first loss in seven decisions.
Unfortunately, the home run blues returned in Saturday’s nightcap as the Cotton Blossoms belted four long balls with one a grand slam to lead a 9-4 victory.
Southeastern is now 7-7 overall and 1-3 in Great American Conference competition. Monticello is now 9-5 and 3-1.
The LadyStorm will host Northwestern in 1 p.m. twinbills Friday and Saturday as GAC play continues through the rest of the season.
Coach Faubion said, “We could have been 3-1 against Monticello instead of 1-3, but we just didn’t make the plays when they were there to be made.
“Destiny Riddle and Jordyn James were very good over the weekend. Destiny is playing wherever we need her and Jordyn is in much better shape after her injury. She’s in good condition and even had a stolen base.
“We have a week or practice now if the weather will cooperate. Our kids are not down. They know what we can be when we get things working. We’ll just work hard and get ready for Northwestern.”
LadyStorm 2, Arkansas-Monticello 0
The Storm struck early as Kennedy Salyers reached when the right-fielder dropped her high fly ball and left her standing on second base with one out in the top of the first.
Destiny Riddle then drilled a double to left field to plate Salyers and Jordyn James singled up the middle to score Riddle and make it 2-0, Storm, after the first inning.
Emily Cudd threw blanks at the hard-hitting Cotton Blossoms as she allowed only an infield single with two out in the fourth and a harmless single to center in the fifth in a complete-game win that boosted her record to 6-2.
Riddle and James were two for three each to account for all four Storm hits. Riddle doubled twice, scored a run and drove in a run. James drove in one run.
Maranda Clendenin was one for two for the Blossoms and Meagan Duschesne was one for three.
Arkansas-Monticello 9, LadyStorm 4
Monticello opened the scoring on a two-run homer in the top of the third.
Southeastern tied the game with two in the fourth when Riddle blasted her second home run of the season with Salyers on base via a walk.
A grand slam in the fifth made it 6-2, Blossoms.
The Storm plated a pair in the fifth on a two-run roundtripper by Mykaela Wallace that drove in Keeshia Thompson. It was homer number two for Wallace.
Symphoni Shomo delivered a one-out single, but was caught on the back end of a double-play liner by Salyers to end the inning.
Monticello got a solo homer in the sixth and a two-run rip in the seventh to make it 9-4.
James led the Storm with two for three and Wallace was one for two with two batted in. Thompson was one for three with a run scored. Shomo and Riddle were one for four each. Riddle had a home run and drove in two.
Cudd came on in relief in the fifth and took the loss to run her record to 6-3.
McKenzie Rice led the Blossoms with four for four, two homers, three runs scored and three RBIs.
Harold Harmon is the retired Sports Editor at the Democrat and Sports Information Director at Southeastern