The rain started in the fifth inning Saturday morning and Durant’s Multi-Sports Refrigerator provided a day only mad dogs and softball fans could handle.
Coach Ron Faubion’s LadyStorm delivered some early heat, jumping out to a 7-0 advantage over Lincoln’s Blue Tigers before the game turned into a nail-biter with SE posting an 11-8 victory to make the season record 6-2 and the Southeastern Regional Invitational mark 3-0.
Mindy McElroy started for the Storm and left with a 7-0 cushion after three innings. A six-run fourth pulled Lincoln back into the game as Rachel Jones and Shayna Milam combined to allow seven earned runs on seven hits before McElroy re-entered the circle with one out in the fifth.
McElroy gave up three hits the rest of the way, but one was a solo homer by Erin Sommerer to lead off the seventh.
Coach Faubion said, “Mindy did an outstanding job under really difficult conditions. She did a great job early, then had to get back out there and close it out. She wasn’t warmed up properly and it was about 30 degrees with a strong cold win.
“She just stepped up and got it done.
“Courtney Moore had a great day at the plate. Laramie Beal, Darrian Williams, Lauren Renneker and Jessica Simmons all contributed offensively.
“Lincoln deserves a great deal of credit. They were down 7-0 and playing in miserable weather conditions. They just kept battling and we couldn’t afford any mistakes down the stretch.
“Again, we had contributions all up and down the lineup and that’s the way we have to play. I was really proud of the kids.”
Play was continuing Saturday, but newspaper deadlines will mean those games will be covered in Tuesday’s Democrat.
LadyStorm 11 - Lincoln 8
McElroy threw blanks for the first three innings while her Storm teammates were scoring a first-inning run on the second double-steal of the tournament, adding a run on Beal’s leadoff homer in the second and five in the third, sparked by Moore’s third roundtripper of the year, a 3-run blast over the left-field fence that drove in Simmons and Williams and chased starter Kristina Hein in favor of Clair Lorenz.
The Storm third also featured a walk to Beal, RBI-double by Lacie Cook, RBI single by Lauren Renneker, a sacrifice bunt by Whitney Hamilton, fielder’s choice by Williams and Simmons being hit by a pitch.
The Blue Tigers (1-2) made it a game with six runs in the fourth that left SE up by a single run at 7-6.
A solo homer by Lorenz, a 3-run double by Lauren McMinn and a 2-run double by Sam Kircher made the cheese more binding. Simmons doubled to start the Storm fourth, moved to third on a sac bunt by Williams and rode home on a double by Moore to make it 8-6 after four.
Lincoln got another solo homer by Lorenz in the fifth and SE answered with three in the bottom half on Renneker’s 2-run home run and a run-scoring double by Williams.
Lincoln continued to fight back and Erin Sommerer led off the seventh with a homer that made the final score 11-8, SE.
McElroy improved to 2-1, pitching 5.2 innings in two stints in the circle, allowing one earned run on six hits, walking none and striking out six.
Hein (0-1) started and took the loss for Lincoln.
Moore led the hit parade for the Storm with three for four, a double, home run and four runs batted in.
Beal and Kelsey Overacker were each one for one. Beal scored two and drove in one. Overacker scored once in a pinch-hit appearance.
Williams was two for three with two runs scored, one batted in, a double, triple and sacrifice bunt. Simmons and Cook were one for three each. Simmons scored three runs and stole home. Cook scored a run and doubled in a run.
Renneker was one for four with her first homer and two runs batted in.
Brianna Akers led Lincoln with three for four. Lorenz was two for three with two home runs. Sommerer and Kircher were two for four each and Kircher had two RBIs.
10 a.m. - Missouri Western - Drury; SE-St. Mary’s; Angelo State-Arkansas Tech.
Noon: Missouri Western-Ouachita Baptist; Arkansas Tech.-St. Mary’s; SE-Central Missouri; Lincoln-Drury.