MVC Softball Splits Road Games with Avila
MARSHALL, MO -- The Missouri Valley College softball team hit the road Thursday afternoon to Kansas City for a Heart of America Athletic Conference matchup with Avila University. The Lady Vikings were playing in their first conference games of the season and took game one by a 3-2 score. In game two MVC jumped on Avila early, but could not hold on in the 8-4 loss.
The Lady Vikings got out of the gates early in game one of the doubleheader, bringing two runs to the plate. The first run to come across was Junior Shortstop Pricilla Garcia who made it home when Junior Designated Player Logan Stapp hit into a fielder's choice to the pitcher's mound. Meanwhile, Avila had a difficult time getting anything positive on Lady Viking starting pitcher Senior Kim Lopez.
Avila tried to get a rally started in the fourth inning when they had runners at second and third base with two outs, but Lopez got out of the inning with one of her four strikeouts on the afternoon. The Lady Vikings padded their lead by one run in the top of the fifth inning when Sophomore Leftfielder Lisa Luna belted her second triple of the game, this one with two outs already in the inning. Luna was able to come across home plate after a passed ball, giving MVC a 3-0 advantage. The run by Luna proved to be huge as Avila tried to force the game into extra-innings with a rally attempt in the bottom of the seventh.
Lopez gave up a lead-off double, and a dropped pop fly allowed Avila to score two runs, but MVC was able to get out of the inning and hold on to a 3-2 victory. Lopez pitched the complete game giving up five hits, two runs with four strikeouts for the win. From the plate Luna was the big hitter going three for three with one run, while Senior Third Baseman Jennifer Palmatory accounted for the only other MVC base hit.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Lady Vikings were able to get on the board first, scoring a run in the top of the first inning thanks to Palmatory sac fly that scored Luna from third base. Avila responded in their at bat in the first inning, by bringing two runs across home plate against MVC starter Junior Pitcher Ashley Cobern.
The Lady Vikings quickly recaptured the lead in the second inning when Sophomore Centerfielder Allison Kuchan singled up the middle to score Junior Second Baseman Kayla Mochizuki and Senior Leftfielder Mallory White. However the Lady Vikings eventually ended the inning with the bases loaded, but held a 3-2 lead.
Avila responded again, and scored four runs in the bottom half of the second to take a 6-3 lead. The third through sixth innings proved to be tough for the Lady Vikings as they could only produce one base hit in the four innings combined. Meanwhile Avila was able to pad their lead by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth and hold a commanding 8-3 advantage. MVC tried to make a rally in the seventh inning as Kuchan led off the inning with a double and eventually came around to score on a Garcia single, but that's as close as the Lady Vikings would get with Avila holding on for the 8-4 win. From the plate for MVC Garcia and Kuchan heach had two hits, while Kuchan finished with 2 RBI's. Cobern picked up the loss as she went six innings giving up 12 hits, seven earned runs, while striking out two.
The Lady Vikings now move to 4-6 overall and 1-1 in HAAC play. Avila sits at 4-10 on the season and 1-3 in conference action.
The Lady Vikings now turn their attention to the first home games of the season Saturday as they host Graceland University in a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. start time at Indian Foothills Park.