Wayne State College used a four-run seventh inning in the second game to rally for an 8-5 win, salvaging a non-conference college softball split at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Missouri Thursday afternoon. It was the season opener for the Wildcats, now 1-1 on the season, while the host Bearcats are now 1-8 on the season.
The opener saw a similar Wildcat rally in the seventh inning fall just short as WSC dropped the first game to Southwest Baptist 5-3.
WSC scored first as Morgan Vasa recorded an infield single and scored on an Emily Chandler groundout for a 1-0 Wildcat lead.
But the host Bearcats plated single runs in the second, third and fifth innings and scored two in the sixth to take a 5-1 lead entering the top of the seventh.
WSC put together a two-out rally with the bases empty, scored two runs and had the tying run on second base before the rally ended. Annie Grammer doubled followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Alyx Hagen. Pinch hitter Baylee Rial walked to load the bases and freshman Kim Vidlak laced a two-run single to right field scoring Grammer and pinch runner Kortney Buresh to cut the Bearcat lead to 5-3.
With runners on second and third with two outs, SBU got Emily Chandler to strike out to end the game as the Wildcat rally fell just short in a 5-3 setback.
WSC had six hits in the contest. Grammer had the lone extra base hit, a double, while Vasa, Vidlak, Chandler, Michaela Smith and Buresh each singled.
Starting pitcher Maddie Moser (0-1) worked the first four innings and allowed two runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout while reliever Riley Vanderveen pitched the final two innings and was charged with three runs on four hits.
The second game saw the Wildcats use some seventh inning magic again, scoring four runs to rally for an 8-5 win to collect a split in the season opening series.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the top of the third for a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run homer by Vidlak over the left field fence.
The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth when Southwest Baptist scored three runs for a 3-2 cushion.
WSC regained the lead with two runs in the sixth for a 4-3 lead. Chandler produced an RBI single that scored Vidlak while Chandler scored when Raquell Penke reached on a Bearcat error.
The Wildcat lead was short-lived as the Bearcats came up with two runs for a 5-4 advantage.
WSC came up with another two-out rally with no runners on base in the top of the seventh to storm back for four runs and an 8-5 win. Vasa singled and stole second followed by a walk to Vidlak. Chandler reached on a Southwest Baptist fielding error to score Vasa to tie the score at 5-5. Freshman catcher Kamryn Sparks singled to right field, bringing home Vidlak for a 6-5 Wildcat lead and Penke doubled to center field to score Chandler and Parks for an 8-5 win.
Both teams had nine hits in the second game. Vidlak was 2 for 3 with a two-run homer, two RBI and three runs scored while Penke was 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Vasa, Chandler, Sparks, Taylor Menard and Rial each singled for WSC.
Moser earned the win (1-1) with 1 1/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk. Freshman starter Makenna Adkison pitched 5 2/3 innings and was charged with three runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout.
Wayne State is scheduled to play Southwest Baptist again on Saturday in a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.