Missouri Valley College softball splits doubleheader
MARSHALL - The Missouri Valley College softball team hosted Culver-Stockton College in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at the Lyon Bowl at Indian Foothills Park. The Vikings used three home runs to win game one by an 8-6 score, but let an early lead slip away in a 10-4 loss in game two.
Culver-Stockton jumped out to an early lead in the first inning of game one, getting a run on two hits. Missouri Valley did get out of the inning with two ground outs that left two base runners stranded. The Vikings went down in order in the bottom of the first and CSC just had one base runner in the top of the second. The bottom of the second opened with a solo home run from Sophomore Shortstop Kaya Naiwi. Junior First Baseman Briana Billups followed with a double and she was brought home later in the inning on a Freshman Leftfielder Sabrina George single. However, the Vikings left two base runners stranded, but claimed a 2-1 lead.
Culver-Stockton threatened in the top of the third, but MVC got out of a two-on and one-out situation without allowing a run. The Vikings used two more home runs to widen its lead. After a Second Freshman Baseman Leilani Lastimosa single, Naiwi hit her second homer of the game, a two-run shot, to give MVC a 4-1 lead. Billups followed that with a solo home run of her own, and Missouri Valley took a 5-1 lead into the fourth inning. The Wildcats got two of those runs back in the top of the fourth inning and trailed 5-3.
After a lead-off pop out, the Vikings got back-to-back singles from Lastimosa and Senior Third Baseman Carrie Hudson, followed by a walk from Naiwi to load the bases. Billups then doubled to right-center, scoring Lastimosa and Hudson giving MVC a 7-3 lead. Culver-Stockton again chipped away at the Viking lead with a run in the fifth, and MVC went down in order in the bottom half of the inning to hold a 7-4 advantage. The Wildcats got another run in the top of the sixth to make it a 7-5 score, but Naiwi drove in her fourth run of the game with a single to left field that scored Lastimosa and put MVC in front 8-5. Culver-Stockton scored a run in the top of the seventh, and had the tying run at the plate, but Missouri Valley held on for the 8-6 win.
Leading the way for Missouri Valley was Naiwi who went 3-for-3 from the plate with two home runs, four RBI's and two runs scored. Billups went 3-for-4 with three RBI's and two runs scored while Lastimosa was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Picking up the win was Freshman Pitcher Lexus Kirkpatrick who went the final 3.2 innings giving up three hits, two earned runs and had two strike outs.
Game two opened with the Wildcats taking the early lead, getting a run in the top of the first inning. The Vikings went down in order in their first at-bat, but after keeping CSC off the board in the top of the second, the Vikings put together a rally. Naiwi led off with a single and was moved to second on a sac-bunt from Billups. Senior Designated Player Lauren Alferos followed with a double to score Naiwi and George brought Alferos home with another double to give Missouri Valley a 2-1 lead.
Culver-Stockton tied the game in the top of the third, getting a two-out single to make the score 2-2. The Vikings reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third as Lastimosa led the inning off by reaching safely on an error. Lastimosa made it to third base on a wild pitch and passed ball and was brought home on a Hudson single. The Vikings finished the inning by stranding one base runner, but held a 3-2 lead. Again, CSC countered with a run to tie the score at 3-3. Missouri Valley responded in the bottom half of the fourth with another run, this time on a passed ball that allowed Junior Catcher Allison Kuchan to make it home and give MVC a 4-3 lead.
Both teams were kept scoreless in the fifth inning, but the Wildcats scored four runs in the top of the sixth, with three of those runs coming after two outs. Missouri Valley got a one-out single from Kuchan but was unable to chip away at the deficit and went into the seventh inning trailing by three runs. Culver-Stockton added to its lead in the top of the seventh, making the score 10-4. The Vikings were unable to make a late rally and fell in game two, splitting the doubleheader.
Missouri Valley was led by Naiwi who was 2-for-4 from the plate with one run scored and Hudson who was 2-for-4 with one RBI. Kuchan finished 2-for-2 and scored a run. The loss went to Heather Breslin who went five innings and gave up four earned runs with one strikeout.
The Vikings fall to 9-7 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Culver-Stockton improves to 7-11 on the season and 2-4 in the conference.
Up next, the Vikings will at Peru State (Neb.) College Saturday in a conference doubleheader with the first game scheduled for 2 p.m.