Southeastern’s LadyStorm softballers completed a fou-game sweep of Southern Arkansas with 3-1 and 10-7 wins here Saturday afternoon.
Temperature was in the low miserables and it bothered Mindy McElroy so much she could pitch only 8.2 innings and collect two wins to run her record to 7-1 while coach Ron Faubion’s young ladies improved to 19-4 overall and 4-0 in Great American Conference competition.
Southern Arkansas is now 12-12 and 4-4.
Coach Faubion said, “After the worst two innings of the season to start the second game, we just kept fighting, got some clutch hits and pulled out a huge comeback win.
“What can you say about Mindy? She was really tired and the weather didn’t help. She just picked us up when we needed it.
“Jacee (Bennett) got rocked in the first two innings, but she was ready when we needed her and she came back to close it out and pick up a save.
“Kaija Morris was outstanding defensively in this series. She made a lot of plays for us at third and she has a rocket arm. Again, it was a team effort and that’s the way we have to play.
“I’m really, really proud of the kids.”
The Storm got outhit 21-18 Saturday, but also got more production than the Lady Muleriders.
When she wasn’t pitching or thawing out her arm, McElroy was three for five with a run scored. Jessica Simmons was three for five, scored four runs, drove in two and stole two bases.
Courtney Moore was four for six with three runs batted in, two doubles and a steal of home.
Southeastern will be on the road to Henderson State Friday and Saturday, followed by a trip to Arkansas Tech on March 15-16.
LadyStorm 3 v. Southern Arkansas 1:
McElroy started for the Storm and held Southern Arkansas scoreless through the first four innings. She allowed a solo home run to open the fifth and Bennett came on to complete the job, working 2.1 innings, giving up one hit and striking out five.
McElroy was touched for one earned run on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
The Storm staked McElroy to an early lead when Simmons singled, moved to second on Lacie Cook’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a double to left-center by Moore.
Two in the second improved the spread as McElroy led off with a single, Laramie Beal walked and Paige Priest walked on four straight to set the table for Rachel Jones’ two-run single up the middle.
That was it for scoring until SAU got its lone run in the fifth.
McElroy sparked the Storm with two for two and a run scored. Bennett was one for one with a double, Simmons one for two with a run scored and a stolen base. Moore and Jones were one for three each.
Lauren Witzke led SAU with two for three and Mackenzie Spanko was two for four. Darian Harris had a pinch-hit homer for the Lady Muleriders’ only run of the game.
National Pitcher of the Week Hanna Gill took her second loss of the series and fell to 8-5.
LadyStorm 10 v. Southern Arkansas 7:
The visitors brought the thunder early with home runs by the leadoff and 3-hole hitters and doubles by the 2-hole and cleanup hitters in the first inning.
It was 3-zip, SAU, until SE scored two in the bottom of the first. A walk to Simmons and bunt single by Cook set up Moore’s RBI-single and a fielder’s-choice run batted in by Whitney Hamilton.
SAU added three in the second to leave the Storm in a 6-2 hole.
The Storm surged for five runs in the second to take a one-run lead and never trailed.
Paige Priest and Lauren Renneker singled to start the second and Simmons made it three hits in a row. An error by the pitcher, a sac fly by Courtney Riddle, an RBI-double by Moore and a double-steal with Hamilton going to second and Moore scoring did the trick for the Storm.
SE added three in the third to make it 10-6. Beal lasered a drive to left that went for a triple and she scored on a throwing error by the left fielder. An RBI-single by Simmons plus an error by the shortstop completed the rally.
Shayna Milam came on with nobody out in the top of the second and gave up one unearned run on one hit, walked one and whiffed a pair.
McElroy came in to start the third and threw blanks until the seventh when Bennett returned to slam the door with a pair of strikeouts and claim her third save.
Speedy Moore led the Storm with three for three, a run scored when she stole home in the second and two runs batted in. Renneker was two for two for the winners.
Simmons and Priest were two for three each. Simmons scored three, drove in a pair and stole a base. Priest scored two runs.
Cook was two for four with two runs scored. McElroy and Beal were one for three each. Beal tripled and scored a run.
Courtney Hudgins led SU with three for five. Kelci Garza was two for four and Spanko two for five.
LadyStorm 5 v. Southern Arkansas 1:
Southeastern’s Jacee Bennett, National Pitcher of the Week after the trip to Tucson, hooked up with Gill in this one and Bennett ran her record to 11-2 with the victory.
Leadoff walks to Lady Muleriders in each of the first three innings came to naught since Storm catcher Courtney Moore gunned down the first two trying to steal. The third one withered on the vine at third base.
Southeastern took the lead in the second when Whitney Hamilton ripped a one-out single to center and went to second when the ball was mishandled by the outfielder.
An infield out later, Beal sizzled a run-scoring double to the gap in left-center for the go-ahead run.
Southern Arkansas tied it in the fourth on a two-out error at first and an RBI-single by Kelci Garza.
The Storm won it in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run burst that had pinch-runner Dakota Palmer, aboard after Moore was hit by a pitch, scoring ahead of Beal’s third homer of the season, a 2-run shot to center field.
Mindy McElroy pitched the last three innings, struck out the first batter she faced and ended the game on a strikeout to pick up her fourth save. Bennett worked four innings, allowed one unearned run on three hits, walked three and struck out six.
McElroy threw three perfect innings of relief to close it out.
Gill went six innings for SAU, gave up five earned runs on eight hits, walked one, struck out two and fell to 8-4.
Beal, the freshman from Coalgate, led the Storm hit parade with two for two, a run scored, her fifth double, third home run and three runs batted in.
Kelsey Overacker and Lauren Renneker were one for one each in pinch-hit appearances. Overacker doubled and scored a run. Renneker delivered one run batted in.
Hamilton and Paige Priest were one for two each for the winners. Simmons and Cook were one for three apiece.
Brittany Wood topped SAU with one for two and a run scored. Sarah Higginbotham and Garza were one for three apiece.
LadyStorm 4 v. Southern Arkansas 2:
McElroy ran her perfect string to 4.2 innings by retiring the first five Lady Muleriders.
Simmons staked the Storm to the lead run when she opened with a single to left, stole second and scored when the pitcher made a wide throw on Cook’s bunt single.
McElroy helped herself when she doubled home Palmer, again running for Moore who had singled to left. Two in the fifth provided McElroy some breathing room. Renneker walked to start it and Brittany Wilson came on to run. Simmons beat out a bunt to third base and Cook followed with another bunt single.
The first run scored on Beal’s infield out to second base and the second one crossed the plate on Moore’s sac fly to center.
McElroy just smoothed right along through the sixth before the seventh turned into the inning from heck.
Fittingly enough, the inning ended when Moore picked off Mackenzie Spanko, reigning National Player of the Week, at second base.
McElroy improved to 5-1 with another complete game. She pitched seven innings, allowed two unearned runs on four hits, walked none and struck out one.
Starter Taylor Clifton went five innings and took the loss for SAU to run her record to 4-6.
Simmons and Cook were each two for three for Southeastern. Simmons scored two runs and stole her 16th base in 18 tries.
Moore was one for two with a run batted in. McElroy was one for three with her second double and a run batted in. Spanko led SAU with two for three and one RBI. Joella Bayles and Brittany Wood were one for three each.