Lady Vikings swept by Evangel forseventh straight loss

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Missouri Valley College softball team played Wednesday's Heart of America Conference home doubleheader Wednesday in a perpetual catch-up mode, dropping both games to Evangel, 5-2 and 7-5.

The Lady Crusaders, ranked third in NAIA Region V, came into the series with a .309 team batting average -- and nearly equaled that (.295), as well as their mean 6.7 runs per game. In both contests, Evangel put up crooked numbers in the first inning.

In the opener, the Lady Crusaders got a two-run homer from senior Stef Beaverson -- her ninth of the season -- before an out was recorded. Sophomore Megan Cairnes later smacked a two-run double.

Junior Kimberly Fuller hit her team-high fifth dinger, a solo shot in the third inning, but the Lady Vikings didn't score again until the bottom of the seventh on sophomore Sara Irminger's double.

Senior Brooke Ragan went the distance for Evangel, scattering five hits to claim her ninth victory.

Junior Breanna Canclini's three-run homer in the top of the first got the nightcap off to a good start for the Lady Crusaders. Sophomore Samantha Richter's RBI single in the third was followed by a two-run hit from freshman Chelsea Preaus.

Freshman Anna McKinny had a 7-0 shutout going until the bottom of the seventh, when the Lady Vikings erupted for five runs. Irminger singled in the first run, junior Lindsey Stapp and Fuller had RBI singles, Stapp scored on a grounder and Fuller came in on sophomore Sydney Kaneshiro's single.

Ragan relieved, walking the first hitter she faced to put the tying run on base, but then fanned the next batter to end the game.

Cairnes had five hits and knocked in three runs during the day for Evangel (19-11, 10-2 HAAC), which moved into a tie with Central Methodist atop the league standings.

Fuller's three hits led Valley (9-17, 1-6), which takes a seven-game losing streak into Saturday's twinbill at MidAmerica Nazarene.

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