The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 8, 2014

Pittsburg State backs strong pitching to beat MSSU

— Pittsburg State collected 27 hits and defeated Missouri Southern 9-1 and 10-3 in a nonconference softball doubleheader Friday at Lea Kungle Field.

The Gorillas (11-4) scored at least one run in 10 of 14 innings and had nine extra-base hits, including two home runs.

Meanwhile, PSU pitchers Samantha Grove and Haleigh Sills pitched compete games. Grove (7-0) allowed one run on five hits and Sills (3-2) allowed one earned run on six hits.

“It’s always fun to give our pitchers support,” PSU coach Elizabeth Economon said. “Sam in the first game did a good job, and defensively, we made plays. Haleigh did a great job keeping the ball down and getting ground balls.”

MSSU (4-8) is scheduled to play a doubleheader against Missouri S&T at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Rolla, then return home for a doubleheader against St. Joseph (Ind.) at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Kungle Field. Pittsburg State will face Drury in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Wednesday at PSU.

PSU took a 4-0 lead in the first game with a three-run third inning, highlighted by first baseman Alex Perez’ two-run double. The Gorillas scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then added three runs in the seventh on Grove’s RBI double and a two-run home run by shortstop Jordan Bradshaw.

Missouri Southern scored in the fifth inning when Brooke Swadley was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on an infield single by Jessica Castoe, stole third and scored when Michala Wood hit into a fielder’s choice. Wood was 5-for-8 in the doubleheader and scored a run.

In the second game, PSU broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run third inning. McKenzie Rynard drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, Perez drove in a run with a single and Cheslyn Mitchell’s second double of the game scored Perez.

“We have a very good offense. We hit the ball hard,” said Mitchell, who was 3-for-4 in the second game and 4-for-7 in the doubleheader. “We have an all-around great offense and defense. The pitchers did an awesome job. We’re off to a great start. We can do really well this season.”

Third baseman Bailey Letts hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, and the Gorillas added three runs in the fifth on Bradshaw’s sacrifice fly and run-scoring singles by Brenna George and Tiffany Brown.

Missouri Southern scored single runs in the first and second innings with the help of two PSU errors, then added a run in the fifth inning when Dawn Grass doubled to center field and scored Chloe Brown, who had singled.

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