Wayne State built an early 7-0 lead, then held off a late Emporia State rally to edge the Hornets 7-5 Sunday afternoon at the Emporia State Softball Tournament in Kansas. The win by WSC avenges a 14-13 loss to the same team nine days ago after Emporia State scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to shock the Wildcats in the season opener. WSC is now 3-8 while ESU falls to 9-2 on the season.
The Wildcats opened the scoring with three runs in the top of the first as Michaela Smith delivered a two-run single that scored Ashley Hernandez (single) and Kim Vidlak (fielder’s choice). Smith then scored on a single by Jenna Etmans for a 3-0 WSC advantage.
WSC added another run in the second when Emily Hale singled and crossed home plate on a bases loaded walk to Kamryn Sparks.
A three-run third inning gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. Hernandez laced a two-run double to left field that brought home Vidlak and Kortney Buresh, who both singled. Vidlak’s RBI single scored Riley Holmberg, who singled, for the other Wildcat run.
Emporia State got on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 7-2 and almost completed a similar comeback in the seventh like the Hornets accomplished in the season opener.
The Horrnets used a pair of hits, two Wildcat errors, a walk and hit batter to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Wildcat starter Hadley Chvatal fought through the tough inning and got a fly out to end the game with runners on first and second as WSC held on for the 7-5 win.
Wayne State had 15 hits in the win, all but one being a single, by eight different players. Sophomore outfielder Riley Holmberg was 3 for 4 with three singles while Buresh added three hits going 3 for 5 with three singles. Hernandez was 2 for 4 with a double, single and two RBI while Vidlak ended 2 for 4 with two singles and two runs scored. Etmans contributed two singles while Smith, Madison Gomez and Hale each singled.
Chvatal (3-3) notched the pitching win with her third complete game effort of the season. She was charged with five runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks while recording 15 ground ball outs in the circle.
Despite out-hitting Missouri-St. Louis 9-2, Wayne State closed the Emporia State Softball Tournament Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 loss to the Tritons. It was the sixth one-run loss early in the season for the Wildcats, now 3-9 overall and 2-4 in the Emporia State Tournament, while Missouri-St. Louis improves to 5-7.
All of the scoring in the contest came in the third inning.
WSC had a strong scoring threat in the second inning, loading the bases with no outs following singles by Michaela Smith and Jenna Etmans to go with a walk to Madison Gomez. However, the Wildcats could not score a run.
The Wildcats then used a two-out rally in the top of the third to score their only run of the game as Kamryn Sparks singled and scored on a double to left center field by Smith.
In the bottom of the third, Missouri-St. Louis used two Wildcat errors and a walk to help score both runs as the Tritons took a 2-1 lead.
WSC made a threat to tie the score in the top of the seventh with one out singles from Kortney Buresh and Kim Vidlak, but Missouri-St. Louis got a fly ball and ground out to end the game for a 2-1 win over the Wildcats.
Wayne State had nine hits in the game while holding UMSL to just two. Smith was 2 for 3 with a double and single while Sparks and Buresh each singled twice. Vidlak, Etmans and Riley Holmberg each added singles.
Sophomore starter Sloan Cooksey (0-4) was tagged with the loss despite a complete game effort in the circle. She gave up just two hits and two runs (both unearned) with seven strikeouts and five walks.
Wayne State resumes play on Tuesday, March 16th with a doubleheader at Truman State in Missouri starting at 12 p.m.