Northwestern State’s four homers against Evansville highlights split in Blues City Classic
MEMPHIS – Northwestern State tied a season-high with 12 hits in the opener against Evansville, which highlighted a split Saturday on the second day of the Blues City Classic.
Four of the 12 hits in game one were of the home run variety en route to a 13-3 victory against the Purple Aces.
NSU could not carry the offensive momentum into the second game as the Lady Demons were held to one hit in a 3-0 defeat to North Alabama.
The Lady Demons finish the Blues City Classic on Sunday at 9 a.m. against Northern Illinois.
NSU 13, Evansville 3 (6)
On the strength of four home runs, NSU jumped to an early lead and never looked back as the Lady Demons registered their second most runs (13) and tied for the most hits (12) in a game this season.
After a scoreless first inning, NSU hit three homers in the second to take a 5-0 lead. Freshman Kat Marshall hammered an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run shot to open the scoring.
Jensen Howell, who also pitched for the Lady Demons, helped her cause by hitting her second home run in as many days to put NSU on top 3-0.
Haley Barbazon closed the second inning scoring for the Lady Demons with an inside-the-park home run off the right-center field wall.
Howell (5-3) allowed three runs on five hits in her six innings, tying a season high with eight strikeouts.
She ran into trouble in the second when the Purple Aces loaded the bases with two outs, but after a wild pitch, was able to strikeout Katie McLean swinging to keep the Lady Demons on top 5-1.
Kaitlyn St. Clair hit the fourth home run of the game for NSU with a two-run shot to left to extend the advantage to 7-1.
Eryn Gold led off the bottom of the third with a home run for the Purple Aces to slice it to 8-2.
A pair of doubles by Evansville’s Jessica Fehr and Gould cut it to 8-3, but a pop-up double play ended threat and NSU avoided further damage.
Marshall and St. Clair each had two hits and three RBIs. Marshall reached base three times in her four trips to the plate. Barbazon added a pair of hits and two RBIs.
The Lady Demons closed the door with a five-run sixth, its third inning of at least three runs.
Alexis Perry singled home Elise Vincent, who led off the inning with a bunt single. That was followed by a Marshall double to score Cayla Jones, who reached on a hit by pitch.
St. Clair and Keeley DuBois singled home Perry and Marshall, respectively, to finish the scoring.
Marshall scored a team-high three runs, while St. Clair scored twice.
North Alabama 3, NSU 0
Samantha Guile and Emma Callie Delafield combined to have a quality pitching performance, but UNA’s Megan Garst tossed a one-hitter.
Guile started and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits, while Delafield allowed one hit in three scoreless innings.
The Lions scored all three runs in the third inning. Following a single by Megan Westfall, Lexie Harper reached on an error and Westfall came around from first to score.
Two batters later, Harley Stokes homered to center field to extend the lead to 3-0.
Delafield retired her first eight batters and only allowed one base runner in her three innings, striking out two.
Garst (5-3) retired the first 13 batters of the game before walking Kat Marshall. The only hit she allowed was a single to third base by Elise Vincent.
The Lady Demons had a threat in the seventh with runners on first and second with one out, but Gast struck out the final two batters of the contest.