|friday night softball RESULTS
|Missouri 2, Kentucky 1
|Georgia 3, Florida 2
|Ole Miss 8, Texas A&M 4
|LSU 2, Alabama 1
|Arkansas 2, Tennessee 1
|South Carolina 8, Mississippi State 3
HUDSON HELPS NO. 11 MIZZOU TOP NO. 19 KENTUCKY, 2-1
Senior slugger Hudson’s two RBI, including home run in the ninth, win it for the Tigers
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 11 Mizzou softball was lifted to victory at No. 19 Kentucky in extra innings by senior Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.), who hit her 13th home run of season in the top of the ninth inning to give the Tigers a 2-1 win at John Cropp Stadium on Friday. The slugger smacked an RBI single in the top of the seventh to level the game at 1-1.
Mizzou improved to 28-8 overall and 12-6 in the Southeastern Conference with the win, while the Wildcats dropped to 35-15 (10-9 SEC) with the loss.
Hudson got the Tigers on the scoreboard with a single to left field that scored redshirt freshman OF Carlie Rose (Nixa, Mo.), who had beat out an infield single to start the seventh. Rose was bunted over to second base by freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.).
Senior pitcher Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) put on a stout performance, throwing 9.0 innings with seven strikeouts and allowing one run on five hits. She issued just two walks in the game and improved to 18-4 with the win, her 11th SEC pitching victory.
Hudson batted 2-for-4 with a walk in the game, with her two hits being the run-scoring knocks. Her home run, the 43rd of her career, tied her for second all-time at Mizzou with former standouts Amanda Renth (2005-08) and Ashley Fleming (2009-12).
Senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) posted a 2-for-3 night at the plate, walking twice and stealing one base. Rose also earned two walks for the Tigers. Junior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) put out a 2-for-4 performance, hitting one double.
UK took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning that the squad carried into the seventh after a leadoff double was batted around by the Wildcats.
Kentucky’s Kelsey Nunley took the loss after entering the game in relief in the sixth inning, throwing 4.0 innings and allowing five hits and two runs. UK’s Lauren Cumbess started the game, lasting 5.0 innings with four hits allowed and one strikeout.
No. 23 Georgia Topples No. 2 Florida 3-2
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Chelsea Wilkinson led the No. 23 Bulldogs to a 3-2 win over the second-ranked Florida Gators in the series opener on Friday afternoon in Gainesville Florida. The win marks the fourth win over a ranked opponent in five games and allowed the Bulldogs to improve to 35-16 on the year and 12-7 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida dropped to 45-6 overall, including a 14-5 mark in the SEC.
Wilkinson struck out a career-best 14 batters on the way to the complete-game win that moved her to 6-3 on the year. She allowed just two runs on five hits in the complete-game performance. Hannah Rogers got the start for Florida and suffered the loss to fall to 25-4 on the year. She allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and two walks in seven innings of work.
Florida threatened early, putting a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs early in the first. Wilkinson settled in and struck out the next two batters before issuing a walk that loaded the bases with two away. Wilkinson then got the final batter swinging to end the inning and any threat of a Gator run.
Wilkinson pitched around a single in the top of the third before picking up her fourth and fifth strikeouts of the game, including an inning-ending strikeout of Kelsey Stewart.
Georgia’s freshman right hander continued to the deal for the Bulldogs, striking out the side in the bottom of the fourth to keep the Gators off the board.
After Tina Iosefa drew a leadoff walk and was pinch ran for by Maya Branch in the top of the fifth, Anna Swafford hit into a fielder’s choice that put a runner on first for Katie Browne. With the hit-and-run on, Browne delivered a two-out double into the alley in right center that scored Swafford and gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Wilkinson picked up two more strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth inning, before tying her career-best with her 12th strikeout of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. After giving up a single to Stephanie Tofft, Wilkinson caught Taylor Schwarz looking before Browne threw to second to get Tofft for an inning-inning double play that allowed the Bulldogs to take a 1-0 lead into the seventh.
Georgia added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 3-0. With two away, Swafford singled to right field to put a runner on for Browne. Browne followed with a double, but an errant throw by the center fielder to third allowed Swafford to score her second run of the game. Samantha LaZear drove in Browne with a chopper down the first base line that allowed Georgia to take a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
Down to its last three outs, Florida’s Briana Little drew a leadoff walk before Wilkinson struck out Ensley Gammel for the first out of the inning. A hit by pitch and a bunt single loaded the bases with one out for the Gators. Merritt worked a 15-pitch at bat before drawing a walk that scored Florida’s first run of the game and cut the lead to 3-1. Lauren Haeger, who had struck out three times, delivered a sacrifice fly to left that scored Bailey Castro and made it a 3-2 game. Kelsey Horton then hit a hard chopper down the left field line that was fielded cleanly by Swafford, who threw to Geri Ann Glasco at first for the final out of the game, sealing the 3-2 win over the Gators.
No. 25 Arkansas takes down No. 2 Tennessee
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 25 University of Arkansas softball team knocked off the No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers, 2-1, on Friday at Lee Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
Kimmy Beasley pitched a complete game and gave up one run on four hits for her eighth win of the season. The Forman, Ark. native struck out four batters and walked two. The win for the Razorbacks broke a 19-game winning streak for the No. 2 Volunteers. This was also the ninth win over a ranked opponent for the Hogs this season.
“I am so proud of our team,” head coach Mike Larabee said. “Kimmy Beasley settled down and pitched a great ballgame. Two years ago we came here and got humiliated, I am so proud of how far this program has come in two years.”
Arkansas (31-17, 9-10) was led by Jayme Gee and Jennifer Rambo, who both notched RBIs during the game. Rambo finished the game 2-for-3 after hitting .700 last weekend against No. 17 Kentucky. Sierra Bronkey also had a single in the game to lead off the fifth inning.
“Sierra Bronkey, Jennifer Rambo and Jayme Gee came up huge,” Larabee said. “We kept putting the ball in play and it manufactured runs.”
Devon Wallace finished the game 1-for-3 and drew an intentional walk. Her 65th walk of the season puts her one walk behind the SEC single-season record of 66. Wallace also grabbed a line-drive out of the air in the bottom of the sixth inning to kill a Tennessee rally.
“How about Devon Wallace?” Larabee said. “She had four quality at-bats tonight. She also played an excellent first base, which she has all season.”
Beasley ran into trouble in the bottom of the first inning as she walked Kat Dotson. She then hit Lauren Gibson to put two on for Madison Shipman. The senior also drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Beasley was able to retire Melissa Davin and Melissa Brown to work out of the jam and end the inning.
The Foreman, Ark. native battled back in the second and worked a 1-2-3 inning. She struck out Tory Lewis in the process, giving her 148 on the season.
Amanda Geile garnered the first runner of the day for the Razorbacks in the top of the third. She drew a two-out walk to put a runner on for Wallace. She battled but lined out to rightfield. Tennessee starter Ellen Renfroe had retired nine of the ten batters she faced through three innings.
Beasley also retired the ‘Vols, in order, in the third. She struck out the reigning NCAA Player of the Week, Gibson, to end the third. This gave Beasley four strikeouts on the day.
Bronkey led off the fifth inning with a rope-single through the left side of the infield. Ashley Martindale then pinch-ran and advanced to second when Jennifer Rambo reached on an infield single. Nicole Schroeder grounded out to short, but advanced both runners on the play. Gee then grounded a ball to the second-baseman, Gibson. She threw the ball home but it was too late. Martindale scored to give Arkansas a 1-0 lead. After a Geile fly-out, Wallace was intentionally walked to load the bases for Stephanie Canfield. She grounded the ball to the shortstop, Shipman, but was thrown out by a step to end the top of the fifth.
The offensive momentum carried into the bottom half of the inning. Beasley got Cheyanne Tarango to pop out for the first out of the inning. After Lexi Overstreet was hit by a pitch, Tory Lewis popped out on a bunt. Raven Chavanne then grounded out sharply to Wallace to end the inning.
Chloe Oprzedek led off the top of the sixth with the second base-hit of the day for the Razorbacks. She stole second two batters later and then advanced to third on a groundout from Bronkey. Rambo approached the plate with two outs and worked a seven pitch at-bat. She hammered the eighth pitch up the middle to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead.
Tennessee garnered a leadoff runner in the sixth as Dotson reached on a bunt single. After two straight outs, Davin singled off of Beasley to put two runners on for Brown. She lined a ball down the first base line and Wallace dove to snag it out of the air. The side was retired and Arkansas took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning.
Wallace continued her excellent day at the plate and lined a two-out single into centerfield. However, the Razorbacks were unable to plate her and the score stood at 2-0.
Overstreet would not let the Volunteers go down without a fight as she notched a one-out triple. Lewis followed the triple with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead in half. Beasley battled back and got the SEC’s leading hitter, Chavanne, to fly out. This ended the game and Tennessee’s 19-game winning streak.
Two Homers Take Gamecocks Past MSU Bulldogs, 8-3
MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. – Home runs by Gamecock redshirt senior Kelley Dillon and freshman Alaynie Page helped South Carolina (28-20, 5-14 SEC) to a 8-3 win on Friday night at Mississippi State (31-17, 7-12 SEC).
Page went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an inside-the-park homer and three RBI. Sophomore centerfielder Kristen Struett went 2-for-4, while senior shortstop Samie Garcia scored twice. Dillon and junior designated player Ashlyn Masters both drove in two runs.
Dillon gave South Carolina the 2-0 lead by hitting the 1-2 pitch into the trees out beyond the left-field wall in the second. That scored Masters after she drew a two-out walk.
Page made it 5-0 with her inside-the-park homer in the fifth. Page sliced one toward the line that the Bulldog left fielder could not come up with on the dive, allowing junior pinch runner Brooke Barnhill, Garcia before Page touched all four for the homer. Before the Page homer, senior catcher Shelby Gonzales had a one-out single, and Garcia reached on a Bulldog error when the second baseman’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag on what would have ended the inning.
The Bulldogs got two back in the sixth on Heidi Shape’s two-run homer in the sixth, which scored Logan Foulks after her walk. But South Carolina responded with three more in the seventh, the first on junior second baseman Dana Hathorn’s sacrifice fly. With the bases loaded, Masters hit one back through the middle, scoring two more to make it 8-2.
Mississippi State made things interesting in the seventh, as Jessica Offutt doubled home Jessica Cooley with two outs. A walk to Sam Lenahan put runners at the corners, but Gamecock redshirt sophomore pitcher Julie Sarratt (10-5) got a groundout to third to end the contest.
Sarratt gave up three earned runs on five hits and six walks while striking out three in the complete-game win. The Bulldogs’ Stephanie Becker (10-7) took the loss, allowing eight runs, five earned, on 10 hits and four walks. She fanned eight.
Cantillo Powers Rebels To 8-4 Win Over No. 15 Texas A&M
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss junior outfielder RT Cantillo hit a pair of home runs and junior pitcher Carly Hummel threw a complete game as Ole Miss defeated No. 15 Texas A&M 8-4 on Friday night at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
The win is the Rebels’ second win of the season over a top-15 ranked opponent. Ole Miss opened its conference season with a road victory over then-No. 15 Kentucky on March 8.
“Our kids showed a lot of heart today and came out ready to play,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “Our kids really want to keep getting better and better and that’s one thing we’ve tried to focus on.”
Cantillo led the way for the Rebels (23-29, 3-19 Southeastern Conference) with a 2-3 performance, including two home runs, three runs scored and another three RBI. Senior Brittany Broome and sophomore Allison Brown also had multi-hit games Friday.
“It was great to see RT finally really get a hold of some things,” Thees said. “She’s been hitting balls hard right at people, but for her to start off the game with that home run and then get another one later on. She’s seeing the ball well and we hope she continues to do so this weekend.”
After giving up a three-run home run in the top of the first, Hummel settled into the game and allowed just one more run on three hits for the remaining six innings. It was Hummel’s 13th complete game of the season.
“Carly has been evolving as an SEC pitcher,” Thees said. “She’s gotten frustrated after giving up a couple runs. We’re in the SEC, the best hitting conference in the country. She has to understand that she’s not the only pitcher in the SEC giving up runs. Today was great because she bounced back and threw up a lot of zeros there.”
Trailing 3-0, Ole Miss responded in the bottom of the first with four runs on four hits. Cantillo began the scoring with a solo home run to left field on the second pitch she saw. Brown scored later in the inning on a throwing error by the Aggies (35-13, 6-12 SEC), and junior catcher Marina Parra then hit a two-RBI single to left field with the bases loaded to give Ole Miss a 4-3 lead.
The Rebels scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run double to the left field wall by junior first baseman Londen Ladner that scored Broome and Cantillo.
Ole Miss took an 8-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth on Cantillo’s second home run of the game, a two-run shot over the left field wall that scored freshman right fielder Bri Payne.
Texas A&M finished out the scoring in the game by scoring one run in the top of the sixth with a lead-off solo home run over the left field wall by catcher Nicole Morgan.
LSU Dumps No. 4 Alabama, 2-1
BATON ROUGE – The No. 12 LSU softball team used solid performances in all three phases of the game to secure a hard-fought 2-1 victory over No. 4 Alabama Friday as a program-record 2,651 spirited fans gathered at Tiger Park.
With the win, LSU (39-11, 14-6 SEC) extends its lead to two games over the Crimson Tide 40-9, 12-8 SEC) in the SEC Western Division standings. The Tigers have collected seven straight home decisions over Alabama going back to the 2008 season.
LSU’s slappers of A.J. Andrews, Jacee Blades and Simone Heyward combined for a 5-for-7 effort and scored both runs. Andrews and Blades picked up their team-leading 16th and 15th multi-hit performances of the season. Bianka Bell and Allison Falcon accounted for RBIs on sacrifice flies.
“This was exciting and awesome for the fans who came out and gave us support,” head coach Beth Torina said. “What a great atmosphere we have had the last few nights at Tiger Park. I thought the defense was the key tonight. They have some really quick slappers at the top of their lineup like we have. We handled them really well from the left side of our infield. Then we came up with some key hits at some good moments. The slappers (A.J. Andrews, Jacee Blades and Simone Heyward) on our side were awesome. They were on-base all night. I thought they caused a lot of problems for their defense.”
Ashley Czechner went the distance in the circle for the Tigers and moved her unblemished mark to 10-0 for the season. The South Carolina native scattered one run on eight hits and recorded one strikeout versus two walks.
“Her (Czechner) track record before she came to LSU was she is a big game pitcher,” Torina said. “The more pressure she has, the better she is. I think she is showing us that all the time. I am glad she pitched the entire game tonight. I thought she was fantastic. I felt really confident putting her back out there in the seventh, and she did exactly what we needed her to do.”
LSU’s defense neutralized the Crimson Tide running game as catcher Kellsi Kloss threw out a pair of Alabama baserunners attemping to steal bases. The Tiger infield registered nine ground ball outs highlighted by Bell’s four assists from the shortstop position.
“Bianka [Bell] and Kellsi [Kloss] just played a phenomenal game,” Czechner said. “Bianka was basically playing second base with some of those plays she made. Kellsi threw out two runners. To throw out two people especially against Alabama, is just phenomenal. Tammy [Wray], Sandra [Simmons] and Allison [Falcon] also made some really great plays on the infield. I could not have done it without them.”
The Crimson Tide threatened to dent the scoreboard during the first inning. Alabama opened the contest with back-to-back singles from Kaila Braud and Haylie McCleney. Two batters later, Molly Fichtner coaxed a walk to load the bases with one out.
Czechner found her bearings and kept the Crimson Tide scoreless. She induced a popup and a ground ball back to circle.
LSU jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the home half of the frame. Andrews and Blades set the table with a double and single, respectively. Andrews raced to the plate after Falcon lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield for the game’s first run.
Alabama attempted to respond with the equalizer during the second inning. With runners on first and second base and two outs, McCleney punched a single to right field. Danielle Richard sprinted toward home plate, but Heyward gunned her down at the plate for the third out of the frame.
LSU added another run in the third inning. Heyward, Andrews and Blades pieced together three straight singles to load the bases. Bell cranked a sacrifice fly to deep left field to push LSU’s lead to 2-0.
The Crimson Tide broke through and trimmed the deficit down to 2-1 with a Richard home run to left field with one out during the fourth inning.
Alabama put the tying run into scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings. Czechner forced the Crimson Tide into a fly out with a runner at third base during the fifth and caught Richard attempting to swipe third base to end the threat in the sixth.
Leslie Jury was tagged with the loss and dropped to 15-4 on the season. She surrendered two runs on six hits and came away with one strikeout against three walks.
Czechner retired the Crimson Tide in order for her first 1-2-3 stanza to wrap up the 2-1 triumph.