Louisville, Ky. – The Missouri S&T softball team gained a doubleheader split in its Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) opener this Saturday (March 10) as the Lady Miners claimed a 4-3 game one victory over Bellarmine before falling to the Knights in game two, 2-0, at BU's Knights Field.
With the series split, Missouri S&T's is currently 9-11 overall and 1-1 in the GLVC this season while Bellarmine evens its 2018 season record to 9-9 overall and 1-1 in the conference. As a result of the league-opening triumph, the Lady Miners have now been victorious in five of their last eight conference openers.
S&T sophomore pitcher Avery English (Carterville, Ill./Carterville) recorded the win in game one, throwing a complete seven innings and striking out four.
Sophomore designated player Olivia Young (Milstadt, Ill./Belleville Township) provided the offensive spark in the lineup in the series opener going 3-for-4 at the plate highlighted by a three-run home run in the third inning. Junior first baseman-outfielder Gretchen Egly (Joliet, Ill./Plainfield Central)produced a combined four base hits, which included two apiece in each contest, and collected a RBI. Junior outfielder Courtney Jackson (Parkville, Mo./Park Hill South) posted three hits on the day, including a pair in the nightcap.
Bellarmine lead 2-0 at the end of the first inning before S&T erased the deficit with a three-run third-inning output as Olivia Young (Milstadt, Ill./Belleville Township) smacked a two out, three-run homer over the right field fence to give the Lady Miners a 3-2 lead. Walks to junior outfielder Rachel Aiardo(Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) and sophomore shortstop Abby Klein (Kansas City, MO/Staley) set up the table for Young's first roundtripper of this season. The Lady Miners scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the fifth inning on back-to-back doubles from Olivia Young(Milstadt, Ill./Belleville Township) and Gretchen Egly (Joliet, Ill./Plainfield Central). Young lined a double to center field with one out and Egly followed with a two-base hit to center field, which brought Young in for the decisive run.
The Knights narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-out RBI single off the bat of Samantha Smith, but potential tying run ended there. English (8-5) managed to set the Knights down in order in the seventh inning to secure the S&T win. Madeline Kurtz (3-4) started for Bellarmine and took the loss despite striking out seven and scattering six hits in the first 4.1 innings.
A pair Bellarmine runs in the second accounted for the scoring in the nightcap as starting hurlers Kati Viets (Sweet Springs, Mo./Sweet Springs) (1-4) for Missouri S&T and the Knights' Sabrina Fussenegger (3-4) both pitched effectively throughout the game.
S&T initially appeared on the verge of tallying the contest's first run as junior outfielder Carley Hamman leadoff the top of the second with a double and would go to third base two outs later on an outfield fly out. Unfortunately, Fussenegger induced sophomore outfielder Hannah Smith(Oconomowoc, Wis./Catholic Memorial) into an inning-ending groundout. In the bottom of the frame, Bellarmine seized an opportunity as Samantha Smith's single drove in the game's first run and then with two outs, Allison Woosley hit a double down the left field line to score another run.
A pair of Gretchen Egly (Joliet, Ill./Plainfield Central) doubles in the fourth and six innings gave the Lady Miners a potential chance to get on the scoreboard, but the Knights were able to get the necessary outs to keep S&T from accomplishing the objective in both frames.
The Lady Miners return to the diamond this Wednesday, March 14, visiting the Lincoln (Mo.) Blue Tigers in a non-conference doubleheader at Jefferson City, Mo. Game one is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (CT) wit hthe second game slated for a 4 p.m. (CT) start at the LU Softball Field.
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