The Central Christian College softball team gave their two seniors a Senior Day to remember as they hosted the Southwestern Christian University Eagles at Tigers Field on Friday afternoon. The two teams were originally supposed to play a four game series, with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, but the impending weather forced Saturday's twin bill to be moved to the 23rd of this month.
The Tigers (8-31, 2-18) needed to sweep the Eagles (10-26, 3-15), to keep their hopes alive for a bid to the SAC conference tournament held at the end of this month. Knowing what was needed, and playing for their seniors, who would be honored in a ceremony between games, the Tigers responded in a big way.
They opened the series, by shutting out the Eagles 6-0, with senior Kasi Kraus in the circle. Kraus pitched a complete game, five-hit shutout, striking out two, and walking just one in earning her sixth win of the season. She got some help from her offense, which scored six runs on eight hits, two of them home runs, led Taelyn Pagel, who was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and a home run, and Cheyann Sales, who went 2-for-3, with a single and a double. The other Tiger long ball came off the bat of Gianca Holmes, who hit a pinch hit, three run jack in the bottom of the sixth inning.
After a ceremony between games, in which the Tigers honored Kraus and fellow senior, Morgan Hildebrandt, the Tigers picked up right where they had left off in game one. Holmes hit another home run, the time a solo shot, as part of a four-run fourth inning, and the Tigers finished the sweep by taking game two, 7-2.
Cheyann Sales and Rhemi Aguero-Pacheco were in the circle for the Tigers in game two. Sales got the start, and picked up the win, giving the Tigers five strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Aguero-Pacheco came out of the bullpen to work the sixth and seventh innings. She kept the momentum going, also surrendering just one run on two hits.
In addition to Holmes' fourth-inning dinger, the Tigers scores six more runs on seven hits. Holmes also had a single, putting her at .500 for the game with a 2-for-4 performance. Kraus also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, and two runs scored. The four other Tiger hits were singles by Jessica Aldana, Karina Flores, Aguero-Pacheco and Sales.
"Today was a great Senior Day," said first year head coach Aaron Annis. "We played great defense and hit the ball like we know we can, all day long. While Kasi [Kraus], Cheyann [Sales], and Rhemi [Aguero-Pacheo] were putting in the work on the mound, Taelyn [Pagel] and Gianca [Holmes] were making great contact at the plate with some home runs. We will need to take this momentum into next week as we face Bacone College and Sterling College."
With the sweep, the Tigers are now 10-31 on the year, and 4-18 in the SAC. More importantly, they are currently sitting in 7th place in the conference standings. This was not the final home series for the Tigers. They will play twice more in the friendly confines of Tiger field, next Thursday against Sterling College, and then against the Eagles again on the 23rd.