Evangel ends MVC's thoughts of post-season
SPRINGFIELD -- Any mathematical chance for the Missouri Valley College softball team to get into the eight-team Heart of America Conference Tournament was foiled Monday by Evangel.
The 23rd-ranked Lady Crusaders swept the doubleheader in Springfield, senior Wendy Niebuhr tossing a five-inning no-hitter in the 8-0 opener and picking up her 20th win of the season in the nightcap, 5-2.
Niebuhr struck out six and allowed only three baserunners, two on walks and another via error, in the first game. Evangel exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning, the last four scoring when senior Mandy Botts-Fulton smashed a grand slam for her eighth homer of the season.
The Lady Vikings were more competitive in the getaway contest -- taking a first-inning lead when sophomore Sarah Richards reached on an error, advanced to third base on sophomore Rachael Lowe's single and a walk to sophomore Loke Lastimosa, and came in on a wild pitch.
Senior Jami Potter, the NAIA Region V "player of the week," doubled in the tying run in the bottom half of the frame and junior Jami Bauer drilled a two-run homer in the third.
Botts-Fulton's RBI double in the fifth gave the Lady Crusaders (35-12, 15-3 HAAC) a 4-1 lead, but Valley picked up a run in the sixth on singles by sophomore Andi Geiser and junior Michelle Holmstedt.
Singles by freshman Kaylee Nelson, Potter and senior Brandi Dorton provided Evangel with its final run in the sixth.
The Lady Vikings (13-32, 3-15) are scheduled to close out the season at home today against Culver-Stockton.