ARKADELPHIA, Ark. — Former Durant Lady Lion Kaija Morris probably didn’t invent third base, but she’s playing it like she owns it.
Freshman Courtney Riddle had her first home run for the Lady Storm and it was a grand-slam that broke a 1-1 tie and provided the rest of the scoring in a 5-1 Southeastern victory in the nightcap after Henderson State overcame a 4-0 Storm lead to take a 5-4 win in the first game.
Coach Ron Faubion’s young ladies are now 20-5 overall and 5-1in Great American Conference play.
The Lady Reddies are 12-14 and 6-4.
Coach Faubion said, “It’s disappointing that we had a 4-run lead in the first game and let them come back to win. You just can’t let a team with good hitters hang around and that’s what we did. We had opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them. It’s really hard to sweep in this conference. It’s hard to sweep at home and even harder on the road.
“Mindy (McElroy) threw well again. She took a tough loss in relief in the first game, but came back and held them to only one run in a complete-game win in the nightcap. Kaija is making every play at third base, just playing great defense for us. Courtney (Riddle) had a double and a grand slam and had a great catch on a dive in left field.
“Courtney Moore was hit by pitches three times. She had a big two-run single in the first game.
“Henderson State is capable of beating lots of teams. We will have to be at our best to have a chance in Saturday’s doubleheader.”
Henderson State 5 v.LadyStorm 4:
Southeastern jumped out early with a run in the first inning.
Jessica Simmons led off with a walk, stole second, went to third on Lacie Cook’s sacrifice bunt, then stole home.
The LadyStorm added three in the third on a leadoff bunt single by Paige Priest, a walk to Rachel Jones, a bunt single by Simmons, infield-out RBI by Cook and a two-out, two-run single up the middle by Moore.
The hostesses picked up a run off starter Jacee Bennett in the third on a pair of singles and a sac fly, then chased in three in the fourth to tie the game. Two RBI-singles and a bases-loaded walk did the damage for HSU.
Southeastern missed a scoring opportunity when it left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. Another runner was stranded in the seventh after Jones opened with a single to right field.
McElroy had come on in relief in the fifth with the game knotted at 4-4. The winning run scored in the bottom of the seventh after she retired the first two hitters, allowed a bunt single, hit back-to-back batters and gave up a soft liner up the middle for the winning run
The loss moved McElroy’s record to 7-2 on the year.
The Storm had four runs on seven hits with Moore going one for two with two runs batted in. Jones was one for one with a run scored. Simmons was one for one, scored twice and stole two bases. Cook, Whitney Hamilton, Laramie Beal and Priest were one for three each with Cook driving in a run.
Laura Mabary was three for four and Katey Gorsage two for two to lead Henderson State.
LadyStorm 5 v.Henderson State 1:
The Storm again scored a run in the first inning when Cook drew a one-out walk, Moore was hit by a pitch and Cook scored on Hamilton’s single to center.
HSU tied it in the bottom of the first on a bad-hop double and a run-scoring single.
MindyMac took over from that point and held HSU scoreless the rest of the way on just one hit, a harmless two-out single with nobody on in the bottom of the seventh.
The Storm struck solidly in the third when Beal’s scorcher undressed the third baseman for a one-out hit, Moore was hit by a pitch (this is not a recording), McElroy walked to load the bases and bring up Riddle. The freshman reached a 2-2 count, fouled off four-straight pitches, then delivered a moon-shot grand slam to left field to end the scoring.
McElroy went the distance, allowed one earned run on four hits, walked one, struck out two and improved to 8-2 on the season.
Riddle led the Storm with two for three, adding a double to her home run, scored one and drove in four.
Beal and McElroy were one for three each and Hamilton one for four with a run batted in.
Katie Hulan paced HSU with one for three and the lone RBI.