With every remaining game in the must-win category, these were perhaps the biggest two wins of the year. They will remain in that category until Saturday when SE travels to SW for another key twinbill in the Lone Star North.
Ashley Smith (12-10) and Amanda Tanner (9-11) each delivered complete-game victories with Tanner blanking the Lady Bulldogs on seven hits after working out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning. Smith shut down SW except for Brooke Walters, who was three for three with three solo home runs.
Southeastern freshman Ryan Allen‘s 13th home run was unlucky for SW in the nightcap as she hammered the first pitch she saw over the center-field fence with two out and nobody on base in the third.
Allen was three for six with a run scored, a double, homer and three batted in on the day. Morgan Miller was two for three and Sharlie Staab two for four to round out multiple hitters for the Savage Storm.
SE coach Ron Faubion said, “It was pitching and defense. We never really got the bats going, but when you make defensive plays and don’t walk batters, good things happen. Their best hitter was on deck when we got the last out of the second game.
“We finally got a couple of breaks on infield grounders and we had some outstanding defensive plays by Courtney Walters at shortstop, Erika Bernal at third, Jeana Keys in center field and Morgan Miller at second.
“These were huge wins, but they won’t mean anything if we don’t keep winning. It will be really difficult to sweep at Southwestern and that’s what we need to do.
“I was really proud of the kids. These wins weren’t easy. Southwestern did a good job and they have wins over some good teams this year. We just have to stay focused and take care of business over the next six games. The playoffs will take care of themselves.”
SE (22-21, 7-7) will visit Southwestern (23-23, 4-14) for a 2 p.m. twinbill Saturday, travel to Central Oklahoma Tuesday, April 27, and host UCO for the final doubleheader of the regular season for Senior Day on May 1.
Brooke Walters belted solo homers, her seventh, eighth and ninth, in the second, fourth and sixth innings to account for all three SW runs.
The Storm scored two in the fourth when Tanner legged out an infield single to shortstop, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jennifer Morales and rode home on Mandi Worthington’s second homer of the year.
A four-run explosion in the fourth wrapped it up for Southeastern.
Worthington reached on a fielder’s choice with two out in the fourth, Stabb singled, Miller dumped a single into left field and Jeana Keyes drove in two runs with a single to center. Allen followed with a two-run double to left-center to make it 6-2 and Smith handled the Lady Bulldogs the rest of the way.
Smith pitched seven innings, gave up three earned runs on nine hits, walked none and struck out two.
Allen and Miller paced the Storm with two for three each and Allen drove in a pair. Keyes, Tanner, Worthington and Stabb were one for three each. Keyes and Worthington drove in two runs each.
Walters was three for three with three roundtrippers to pace SW.
Hits were scarce as the Storm managed just three for the game.
Allen ripped her solo homer in the third and that was the scoring for the entire game.
Tanner issued an intentional walk to Walters to load the bases with one out in the top of the first, then delivered a strikeout and induced a roller to second to end the inning.
Outstanding running catches by Keyes in center and Allen in left, plus a dandy scoop and throw by Courtney Walters at shortstop helped keep the visitors off the scoreboard as the Storm made that one run stand up for the huge victory.
Tanner went the distance on a 7-hitter with one intentional walk and four strikeouts. Allen, Erika Bernal and Staab were one for three each for SE with Allen accounting for the lone run of the game.
Fallon Bradshaw was two for two to lead SW.