Wayne State College hit three home runs, but suffered a 6-5 loss to Illinois Springfield Friday afternoon in the Wildcats’ opening game at the Emporia State Softball Tournament in Emporia, Kansas. The ‘Cats drop to 1-6 on the year while UIS improves to 3-8.
The Wildcats jumped out of the gate with a three-run first inning. Kortney Buresh led off the game with a triple and scored on a Kim Vidlak single. The next at bat saw senior third baseman Ashley Hernandez belt a home run giving WSC a quick 3-0 lead.
The Prairie Stars responded with two runs in the first, tied the game in the second with another run and took a 4-3 lead with a solo run in the third.
Illinois Springfield extended the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the fourth with two more runs.
Wayne State got the two runs back in the top of the sixth inning thanks to solo homers by Hernandez and Kamryn Sparks to open the frame.
The ‘Cats later loaded the bases in the sixth inning as Madison Gomez walked, Jenna Etmans singled followed by a pinch hit single from Paiton Tornberg to load the bases with two outs. But WSC could not get the go-ahead hit to close the inning and the ‘Cats left the bases loaded.
Illinois Springfield finished the game with one more hit than the Wildcats, 10-9. Hernandez was 2 for 4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Buresh ended 2 for 4 with a triple and run scored while Sparks added a solo homer. Other Wildcat hitters included Vidlak, Etmans, Riley Holmberg and Tornberg each singling.
Hadley Chvatal (1-4) suffered the loss with three innings of work. Starter Maddie Moser pitched one inning with sophomore reliever Sloan Cooksey added two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.
For the fifth time in the young season, the Wayne State College softball team suffered a one-run loss as the Wildcats fell to Fort Hays State 2-1 Friday evening at the Emporia State Tournament in Kansas. WSC is now 1-7 on the season with the Tigers moving to 6-8.
The contest was a pitchers’ duel as both players fired complete games – Sloan Cooksey for Wayne State and Michaelanna Nelson for Fort Hays State.
The Tigers scored both of their runs in the bottom of the first inning on three hits, one walk and one Wildcat error to take a 2-0 advantage.
The score stayed 2-0 until the top of the fifth inning when the Wildcats scored their lone run of the contest. Michaela Smith opened the inning with a single to left field and scored on a two-out single to center field by Kortney Buresh.
The ‘Cats had runners at second and third to potentially take the lead but Kim Vidlak struck out to end the rally.
WSC got runners on second and third again in the seventh inning as Smith singled and Katie Humburg walked, but the ‘Cats could not get the extra base hit for a second straight inning and suffered a 2-1 setback.
Wayne State had five hits in the game as Smith went 2 for 3 with one run scored while Buresh ended 2 for 4 with an RBI. Humburg had the other Wildcat hit.
Cooksey (0-2) suffered the hard luck loss with a complete game effort in the circle, striking out eight batters with four walks while allowing just eight hits and two runs (one earned.)
Wayne State will play two games again Saturday at the Emporia State Tournament, battling Southwest Baptist at 3 p.m. and Washburn in a 5:30 p.m. contest