The Central Christian College softball team was back on the diamond on Tuesday afternoon, hosting the Langston University Lions in a doubleheader at Tiger Field. The Tigers (8-30) picked up a split, winning game one over the Lions (15-19), 9-7, but falling in the finale 6-1.
Kasi Kraus, a senior from Eskridge, Kansas, picked up the win in the circle, in the opening game, pitching seven strong innings, giving up seven runs to the Lions on 10 hits. She also came away with two strikeouts and just one walk. The defense behind her made some spectacular plays helping her out of a couple of jams, but they also booted four balls that kept a couple of innings alive and led to two of the Lions runs.
Offensively, the Tigers belted out nine runs on 12 hits, led by Altavia Hall, who finished the day going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and two more driven in. She also had one of the two extra-base hits for the Tigers, a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. Joining her with a multi-hit performance were Karina Flores and Taylor Bourne. Bourne was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles that led to two runs scored, and one RBI. Flores also had a pair of singles in four trips to the plate, leading to one run scored and two RBI.
Langston opened the game with a pair of runs in the top of the first. The Tigers got on the board with Hall's home run in the second, then added six more unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 7-2 lead. Both teams scored two runs in the fifth to keep the spread at five runs, 9-4. The Lions made things interesting, adding three runs in the sixth to cut the Tiger lead to 9-7. The Tiger offense failed to score in the sixth, but their defense came through in the top of the seventh to shut out the Lions and preserve the win.
Game two was completely different than the first. Runs were at a premium and both defenses were more solid. Cheyann Sales was in the circle for the Tigers, and she pitched a gem. She held the Lions scoreless through the first four innings, and ultimately ended up allowing six runs, only two of them earned, on eight hits, in seven innings of work.
Offensively, the Tigers out hit the Lions 9-8, but they couldn't find a way to get the hits they needed with runners on base. They ended up stranding nine runners on base and scored just one run in the loss. Flores continued to see the ball well, racking up two more hits in three trips. Kraus and Sales also had a pair of hits, both finishing 2-for-4. Both of Kraus' hits were singles, while Sales had a single and a double, the only extra-base hit recorded by the Tigers.
The game was scoreless for the first four innings. The Lions finally broke through in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs. The Tigers cut the lead in half with a solo run in their half of the fifth, but couldn't get any closer. A wild throw by the Tigers on a bunt attempt by the Lions in the top of the seventh, led to four unearned runs for the visitors and a 6-1 lead, heading into the Tigers' final at bat. Needing a rally, the Tigers instead, went down in order in the seventh allowing Langston to leave town with a series split.
"We played good today," said first year head coach Aaron Annis. "In game one, every time Langston scored, we would come back and score to keep the lead. Cheyann pitched a great game in game two. Langston had some hits during key moments that pushed them past us. We just need to clean up a few things and we will be right there with them."
With the split, the Tigers are now 9-31 on the year. They will be back on the diamond this upcoming Friday for a doubleheader at home against Southwestern Christian University. In between games, the Tigers will honor their two seniors.