The Wayne State College softball team got back to winning ways Monday afternoon at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex, splitting the series with the University of Mary with a 12-7 defeat in eight innings and a 7-4 bounce back win in the second game of the afternoon. The Wildcats move to 10-25 (1-17 NSIC) while the Marauders move to 16-22 (7-11 NSIC).
With two outs in the bottom of the second, the Wildcat bats came alive. After a Raquell Penke walk, Ashley Hernandez doubled in left-center to score the first run of the game. Kortney Buresh tripled to left center two batters later, scoring Hernandez and Morgan Vasa (walk). Wayne State grabbed the fourth run of the inning from a Kim Vidlak RBI single before being tagged out at second.
After giving up two runs in the top of the third, the Wildcats were back at it offensively. Emily Chandler and Abbie Hix grabbed back-to-back singles to start the inning. Hix later scored on a groundout RBI from Penke before Hernandez sent a shot to left center to bring two more Wildcats home and extend the lead to 7-2.
The Marauders chipped away at the lead with three runs in the next three innings. Down 7-5, Mary batter Emma Noble trotted around the bases, hitting a two RBI home run to tie the game.
The Wildcats were unable to overcome the momentum shift, as the Marauders sent the game to extra innings and capitalized with five runs in the top of the eighth to steal the win 12-7.
Makenna Adkison went 5.1 innings in the no decision, while Maddie Moser received the loss in her 2.2 innings of relief. Hernandez went 2-4 with three RBI and a run scored. Buresh grabbed two RBI in the losing effort.
Riley Vanderveen got the call on the mound in game two. The senior needed only four batters to get out of the first inning, but not before the Marauders could grab a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats picked her up in the bottom of the inning from a Chandler RBI single to send Vasa (single) home. Chandler moved to third on a Hix single before sliding under a potential tag at home, grabbing the second run of the inning off a Taylor Menard sacrifice fly.
Vanderveen stepped back on the mound and forced the first two Marauders to pop up to short before getting help from an acrobatic diving catch from third baseman Hernandez to send the Marauders down in order.
Wayne State grabbed two more runs to increase their advantage in the bottom of the second. With bases loaded, Vidlak forced a one-out RBI walk as Penke (error) trotted home. Chandler grabbed her second RBI of the day, forcing the center fielder into a tough catch in the right-center gap to bring home Buresh (single). The Wildcats had the bases loaded again but the Marauder center fielder tracked down a fly ball to the gap to limit the damage at 4-1.
The bottom of the third saw the third straight inning for a run for the Wildcats. Hernandez led off with a stand up triple before being driven home from a line drive through the right side gap from Michaela Smith. The Wildcats were unable to capitalize on two runners on base, getting caught in a double-play and a foul out to end the inning.
Vanderveen cruised through the first six innings, retiring eight straight batters before a hit sandwiched another streak of eight straight batters walking back to the dugout.
Wayne State grabbed more insurance in the bottom of the fifth and sixth inning. Vasa grabbed an RBI after being hit by a pitch with bases loaded, sending home Smith. The Wildcats grabbed one in the bottom of the sixth from the bat of Hernandez, her RBI double bringing around Chandler (single).
Wayne State endured a late scare after Vanderveen retired her ninth straight batter. Two runs forced the Wildcats into an Adkison entrance. The freshman limited the damage to one more run as the Wildcats grabbed a 7-4 victory.
Vanderveen (1-5) grabbed the win in the 6.1 inning effort, giving up just three hits in the strong performance. Six different Wildcats grabbed a run and an RBI, led by Chandler with two of each. Four different batters grabbed two hits in the second game of the doubleheader.
The Wildcats are back in action at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex on Tuesday afternoon, taking on Southwest Minnesota State in a doubleheader. The first game is slated for a 2 p.m. first pitch.