SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Eight runs … eight hits … 13 batters … 20-plus minutes of thrills for Morningside College and its fans Friday, April 5.
The Mustangs, trailing a feisty Mount Marty College crew 7-0 through four and a half frames, needed each positive in the first game of a Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader at Jensen Family Softball Complex. Lancers’ starting pitcher Rylee Demony had struck out four and surrendered just one hit against a usually high-octane Maroon offense, while the visiting offense had built what looked like an insurmountable lead.
Enter the trio of freshman Ellie Cropley (FR/Sioux City, IA) (Sioux City, Iowa), sophomore Carson Cameron (SO/Herman, NE) (Herman, Neb.) and junior Ashton Whited (JR/Elkhorn, NE) (Elkhorn, Neb.). Cropley drilled a two-run double to begin the comeback, Cameron belted a long drive that cleared the left center field fence for three more runs and Whited nearly added another round-tripper as her shot to the same spot hit the base of the fence, plating the tying and go-ahead scores.
The back and forth rollercoaster ride didn’t end there. After MMC tied it with a run in the top of the seventh, Mside had some more magic left in its bats. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Whited laced another double and junior Cortney Joiner (JR/Carlisle, IA) (Carlisle, Iowa) laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line. After Joiner stole second an out later, Cameron concluded a four-RBI effort with a shot to right center, plating Whited with the winning run.
With the thrilling win behind them, the Maroon got rolling early and often in game two. Three-run rallies in the first, second and third frames got them out to a 9-0 lead which led to a 10-2, five-inning triumph. Cropley and freshman McKenna Becker (FR/Elkhorn, NE) (Elkhorn, Neb.) powered the 11-hit attack, as each of them registered three hits and Cropley drove in three runs. The pitching tandem of senior Paige Lansink (SR/Manilla, IA) (Manilla, Iowa) and sophomore Alex Nelson (SO/Sioux Falls, SD) (Sioux Falls, S.D.) combined for four strikeouts, concluding an afternoon and early evening where Nelson also gained the game one victory.
Morningside (13-6 overall, 6-2 GPAC) resumes its weekend home set, taking on crosstown rival Briar Cliff University Saturday, April 6. First pitch is 1 p.m.