Lady Vikes split with D-III power
ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Valley College softball team suffered a hard-luck loss in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader with five-time defending SLIAC champion and NCAA Division III national tournament qualifier Webster University, but left no doubt about who would prevail in the nightcap.
The Lady Vikings gave up a pair of unearned runs to lose the opener, 4-3, but -- behind sophomore Erin Price's second shutout of the season, pounded the Gorlocks in the getaway contest, 9-0.
After four scoreless frames, Valley cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning of the first game on singles by senior Stephanie Christofferson, junior Sheri Yoshino and senior Jessica Eads. An error, walk and hits by seniors Amanda Clemmons and Mira Ainsworth -- a former New Franklin standout -- gave Webster a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the set.
Sophomore Stacey Bandley and senior Jackie Payne began the MVC sixth, with freshman Cassie Chun-Ming hitting a sacrifice fly and senior Jamie Nuņez getting an infield single to drive the runners home.
However, the lead switched back when junior Leslie Footlick -- who gave up only five hits during the contest -- was forced to overcome defensive lapses, including one of her own.
Errors put two aboard to begin the bottom of the seventh. After a pop-up, a walk loaded the bases -- with junior Abby Hurst plating the tying run with a single. Sophomore shortstop Evy Pinto turned sophomore Angela Ragan's grounder into a force play at the plate for the second out, but Footlick flubbed senior Crystal Clemmons' tapper to allow the game-ending run to score.
The Lady Vikings wasted no time unloading on Gorlocks sophomore Erin Kummerfeldt in the second game, which began with a five-run rally in the top of the first. Hits by sophomore Ashley Proctor and Payne were followed by a boot which let one run in. Junior Sara Kolokotsas followed with a one-run single, Nuņez knocked in a pair of runs with a double and freshman Tania Oquenda's base hit capped the outburst.
Chun-Ming was on base with a single when Nuņez clocked her second homer of the season in the fifth. Nuņez brought home two more runs, giving her six RBIs during the contest, following a walk to freshman Ashley Tone and Chun-Ming's single in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Price wasn't giving up much -- just three hits and one walk -- to the Gorlocks (13-3) for her third straight victory.
Valley (13-13), which has won six of its last nine games, is due to return home Wednesday for a Heart of America Conference clash with Graceland.