For the third straight day, an NSIC opponent handed the Wayne State softball team heartbreak in the seventh inning as Southwest Minnesota State scored three runs in the top of the seventh to snap a 2-2 tie, allowing the Mustangs to complete an 8-0 and 5-2 sweep over the Wildcats Tuesday afternoon at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex in Wayne. WSC drops to 10-27 and 1-19 in the NSIC while SMSU improves to 15-17 and 10-10 in conference games.
Makenna Adkison grabbed her 15th start on the mound in game one of the afternoon. The freshman dealt for a strikeout and forced four groundouts in the first two innings, sending the first six of seven batters she faced back to the dugout.
After two innings of just one hit for each team, the Mustangs finally broke the deadlock with seven runs in the top of the third. Using a leadoff home run from Sara DeSmet, SMSU carried that momentum to record six hits before leaving the bases loaded to end the inning.
Despite putting the leadoff batter Kamryn Sparks on base in the bottom of the inning, the Wildcats were unable to move her around and went to the fourth with a deficit to overcome.
The Mustangs grabbed another run off a sacrifice fly to increase their lead to 8-0 in the top of the fourth before the Wildcats shut the Mustangs back down defensively. Wayne State’s offense couldn’t get the better of Mustang starter Athena Golling, limiting the Wildcats to just three hits in the five inning shutout.
Adkison was credited the loss in her four inning outing, moving to 6-11. Moser made her 22nd appearance with an inning of relief duty. Menard led the Wildcats offensively, singling on both of her appearances at the plate.
Riley Vanderveen took control on the mound for the second game in as many days. The senior retired her first four batters she faced on the afternoon before giving up a walk in the second. Wayne State’s defense picked her up with a ground out and a flyout in foul territory to keep zero on the board for the Mustangs after two innings.
The bats came alive in the Wildcat offense early on as Morgan Vasa lead off with a single up the middle to open the bottom of the first. Emily Chandler grabbed the seventh home run of her senior campaign to bring around the two to give the Wildcats a lead after the first at 2-0.
SMSU scored single runs in the third and fifth innings to tie the score at 2-2 entering the top of the seventh.
The seventh inning started with a leadoff walk for SMSU, chasing Vanderveen with sophomore Maddie Moser coming on in the circle. Unfortunately, SMSU took advantage of several walks and plated three runs in the frame to grab a 5-2 lead.
WSC did not give up, using a pinch-hit single by Kortney Buresh to open the bottom of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Michaela Smith then reached base on fielder’s choice putting runners on first and second.
The Mustangs used a double play ball to get two quick outs, but WSC came back and used a single from Baylee Rial and walk to Morgan Vasa to load the bases before SMSU got the final out on a fly ball to hang on for the 5-2 win.
Wayne State held a 7-3 advantage in hits in the contest, led by Chandler going 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBI. Rial ended 2 for 3 with Raquell Penke, Vasa and Buresh each singled.
Despite the solid pitching effort, Vanderveen (1-6) was tagged with the loss. She worked six innings and allowed just three hits and three runs with three strikeouts and five walks.
Wayne State will be on the road this weekend visiting MSU Moorhead Friday at 1 p.m. and Northern State Saturday at 12 p.m.