The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 3, 2013

Gorillas open play in MIAA softball


From staff reports

— Pittsburg State enters the MIAA softball postseason tournament on a roll.

The Gorillas (28-20) are on a six-game winning streak going into today’s first-round game against second-seeded Fort Hays State in Overland Park, Kan., at the Blue Valley Recreation Complex.

Other matchups at 2 p.m. today — weather permitting — are top-seeded Central Oklahoma vs. Northwest Missouri State, third-seeded Missouri Western vs. Truman State and fourth-seeded Emporia State vs. Northeastern State.

Pittsburg State split a doubleheader at Fort Hays State on April 13,  losing the opener 1-0 and winning the second game 9-6. Starting with that victory, the Gorillas have won 10 of their last 11 games, losing only an 11-8, eight-inning contest to Missouri Southern.

Kreslee Ketcham, senior first baseman from Neosho, and Tiffany Brown, junior left fielder, are hitting .373 and .371, respectively, to pace the Gorilla offense. Both of them have 56 hits and almost identical power numbers — 12 home runs and 38 runs batted in for Ketcham, 11 homers and 39 RBI for Brown.

Junior center fielder Brenna George, the leadoff batter, has 54 hits and is batting .310. She’s also stolen 24 bases in 26 attempts. Katelyn Birchfield, senior third baseman, is batting .309 with 10 homers and 43 RBI.

Freshman Kyndel Shelburn leads the pitching staff with her 12-8 record and 2.31 earned run average. She’s allowed 101 hits in 1451⁄3 innings, struck out 179 batters and walked 56.