GRAND PRAIRIE, TX— The McPherson College softball team picked up another split this past weekend, playing four games in Grand Prairie, Texas as part of the Southern Collegiate Sports Invitational. The Bulldogs dropped the first two games on Friday, but bounced back with a win in Friday's final game, then followed that up with a win in their lone game on Saturday.
Friday's first opponent was Morningside College out of Iowa. The Bulldogs trailed the Mustangs 8-2 heading into the sixth inning, but rallied to score five in the sixth to pull to within one, 8-7. Unfortunately the rally stalled, and the Mustangs escaped with a one run victory.
Sydney Lang got the start in the circle for the Bulldogs against the Mustangs. She worked the first two innings, giving up eight runs on six hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Katy Wilson came on in relief of Lang to start the third inning. She pitched the final five innings, allowing no runs on just one hit with a pair of walks and strikeouts.
The Bulldog offense was led in game one by Wilson and Jenna Christensen, who were both 2-for-4 at the plate. Christensen had the big hit for the Bulldogs, a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to cap a five running inning. The Bulldogs out hit the Mustangs 9 to 7, but couldn't get enough timely hits, leaving seven runner stranded on base.
Bulldog head coach, Tony Segovia, summed up game one saying, "We feel behind early and we fought back to get within one. So very proud of the effort to come back. We told the players we have to come out ready to go from the start."
The Mac ladies suffered another one run loss in game two of the weekend, falling to the Hastings College Broncos 1-0, despite an outstanding performance in the circle from starting pitcher Christie Betker. Betker pitched a complete game, giving up the one run on three hits, with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
From the plate, the Bulldogs again out hit their opponent, 5 to 3, but just couldn't get a key hit when it mattered. Against the Broncos, they stranded nine runners on base. In the third inning, they had the bases loaded with no outs, but couldn't find a way to get any runs across. Five different Bulldogs recorded hits in game two, three of them singles by Jessica Jones, Destiny Bacon and Maile Deutsch and doubles by Wilson and Christensen.
Segovia commented on game two saying, "We had our chances to score some runs early and just couldn't get a timely hit. Christie threw very well, we just couldn't scratch a few across to get the win. We have played a lot of close games this year. Hopefully this well prepare us for the future."
After back to back one run losses, the Bulldogs bounced back to finish the day with an 11-3 victory over the Texas Wesleyan University Rams. The Bulldogs and Rams met the opening weekend of the season, with the Rams winning 2-1. The Bulldogs turned the tables on the rams with Brittany Baroni getting the start in the circle. Baroni, coming off her win against No.1 Oklahoma City University last weekend, went five strong innings for the Bulldogs against the Rams, allowing three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and just one walk.
She received plenty of run support from her teammates, who scored eleven runs on fifteen hits, including homeruns from Jones, and Payten Davies. Davies, Deutsch, Bacon and Kylecia Taylor had multi-hit games for the Bulldogs. Davies was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Deutch and Bacon both went 2-for-4 while Taylor was 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Segovia was pleased with his team's performance against the Rams saying, "A very good win for us. The offense came alive and it was great to give the pitching some run support. I think everyone in the lineup got a hit, so hopefully this will start a good run for us."
The Bulldogs ended day one of the invitational on a high note, and they carried that momentum into Saturday's game against the Mid-America Christian Evangels. Betker was back in the circle for the Bulldogs, and she had another outstanding performance. Against the Evangels, she pitched another complete game, giving up just one run on four hits, with fourteen strikeouts and three walks.
This time, the offense backed her up with just enough run support to secure the victory. They scored three runs on eleven hits including four extra base hits. Deutsch continued to swing a hot bat for the Bulldogs, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Joining her with multiple hits against the Rams was Jones, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. The six other hits were singles by Taylor, Wilson, and Taylor Perez, doubles by Smith and Christensen, and a triple by Chelsea Conrad.
"This was a very good win against a good team", said Segovia. "Christie threw another good game, but this time she gets the win for her performance. Offensively we got some timely hits and did enough to secure the win on defense." Segovia added, "Overall a good weekend, hopefully the weather will start to cooperate with us and we can get back to a normal schedule."
With the split, the Bulldogs are now 6-7 on the season. Weather permitting, they will finally get a chance to play at home in front of the Bulldog faithful on Saturday when they host crosstown rival Central Christian College. The Bulldogs will play a double-header against the Tigers at Bulldog Park starting at 12 p.m.