CONWAY, Ark. – The Louisiana College softball team and Hendrix College played a pair of games with wild swings and big innings, but ultimately the Lady Wildcats earned a pair of late wins, 11-10 and 15-7, over the Warriors Tuesday night at Warrior Field.
Game 1 – Louisiana College 11, Hendrix College 10
The Lady Wildcats started quick enough, with Briley Johnston leading off with a base hit. She stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Desiree Squires double to the left-center gap with two outs to make it 1-0 LC. But that lead wouldn’t last long as Hendrix scored five runs in the bottom of the first to take a 5-1 lead.
But, just like a crazy day in the stock market, big gains and big losses were flipped almost in an instant, and that would be the case in the second inning as the Lady Wildcats turned a 5-1 deficit into a two-run lead, all with a huge two-out rally. After Allie Liles got the rally going by getting hit by a pitch, Bailey McMillian started a streak of seven straight base hits by the Lady Wildcats. Briley Johnston got the scoring started as her infield single scored Liles from second. Kaitlyn Moore made it a one-run game as her single to center scored Johnston and McMillian. Desiree Squires tied the game as her single down the right field line scored Moore. Jade Brady gave the Lady Wildcats the lead back as her double to the left-center gap scored Squires and Shaye Tredinich for a 7-5 LC lead.
Hendrix would tie the score again by pushing single runs across in the third and fourth innings, but LC took the lead for good in the sixth inning as Katelyn Courville’s single to left scored Kayelea Dearmon, and then Samantha Cetta’s double to the left-center gap scored Courville and Jade Brady for a 10-7 lead. Hendrix pulled one back in the bottom of the sixth, before the Lady Wildcats got a key insurance run in the top of the seventh as Kaitlyn Moore singled in Briley Johnston to make it 11-8. The Warriors had a two-out rally going, scoring two and had the winning run at first base when a fly ball to right ended the game.
As a team, the Lady Wildcats came up with 17 base hits in the contest, with three different players collecting three hits apiece. Desiree Squires was three of three with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Katelyn Courville was three of four with a RBI and run scored. Briley Johnston was three of five with a RBI, three runs scored, and three stolen bases. Jade Brady was two of five with a double, two RBI, and a run scored.
Bailey McMillian (2-5) went the distance to pick up the complete game victory. She gave up 13 hits and ten runs, just five earned, walked five and struck out four.
Game 2 – Louisiana College 15, Hendrix College 8
Jade Brady gave the Lady Wildcats a first inning lead as her two-out double to the left-center gap scored Kayelea Dearmon to open the scoring. But unlike game one, the Lady Wildcats extended the lead in the third inning. Kaitlyn Moore’s single up the middle plated Briley Johnston. Then, with two outs, Haley Vezinat doubled the lead by hitting a double to the right-center gap that scored both Moore and Dearmon for a 4-0 lead.
Hendrix pulled one back in the bottom of the third, but Louisiana College extended the lead further in the fifth inning. Jade Brady added a RBI triple to her tally as her hit to the right-center gap scored Kaitlyn Moore. Brady then beat out a throw to the plate to score on a ground ball to second to make it 6-1 Lady Wildcats. LC looked to put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth as Kaitlyn Moore’s base hit to right scored Phobee Spell to make it 7-1 Lady Wildcats.
But the volatile day continued as Hendrix hit a pair of home runs and a RBI single to tie the game at 7-7. Faced with the adversity of a home team comeback, Louisiana College answered in a big way to again put the game out of reach, this time for good. Bre Newman’s RBI double to the left-center gap scored both Shaye Tredinich and Jade Brady. Samantha Cetta then singled up the middle to score Emily Hardy. Newman then came home on an error by the Hendrix shortstop to make it 11-7. Then came a stretch of four straight RBIs, started by Kaitlyn Moore’s sacrifice fly to right that scored Cetta. Kayelea Dearmon shot a base hit up the middle to score Briley Johnston. Jade Brady doubled to center to score Dearmon, and then Shaye Tredinich traded places with Brady for the eighth run of the inning and a 15-7 lead, securing the win after Hendrix had no answer in the bottom of the frame.
Six of LC’s 15 base hits in the contest went for extra bases. Jade Brady was a home run short of the cycle as she finished the game four of five with two doubles, a triple, three RBI and three runs scored. Kaitlyn Moore got two hits in two at bats with a pair of walks, three RBI and two runs scored. Kayelea Dearmon went two of four with a RBI and three runs scored. Bre Newman was one of two with a double, three RBI and a run scored.
Cameron Crochet (3-2) came on in the sixth inning and allowed just two hits and one unearned run in two innings of work with a walk and two strikeouts to pick up the victory. Jade Brady started and threw five innings, allowing five hits and four runs, three earned, walked four and struck out two. Madison Dykes faces two batters, didn’t record an out, and was tagged with two earned runs.
“I’ve always said I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty, and today we picked up two ugly wins,” said Louisiana College head coach Barry Roberts. “We knew we were facing a team with a good offense and we were able to win with our own timely hits. Briley Johnston and Kaitlyn Moore are doing a great job at the top of the order, and our pitchers are getting healthier and better game-by-game. We had a couple defensive hiccups, but I believe we can clean that up. The girls have shown the ability to handle adversity well and bounce back. Now we have a short turn around before playing a very good McMurry team on the road.”
The Lady Wildcats (7-7, 2-4 ASC) look to continue their three-game win streak on Friday at McMurry. First pitch of Friday’s doubleheader against the War Hawks (8-2, 5-1 ASC) is set for 4:00 P.M. at Edwards Field in Abilene, Texas.