Wichita State Edges Drake, 8-7
DES MOINES, Iowa – Junior Laura Brewer (Waukee, Iowa) hit three home runs and drove in six runs, but it was not enough as the Drake University softball team lost to Wichita State, 8-7, in the series finale between the teams on Saturday at Ron Buel Field.
Sophomore Mariah McKinnon (Oxford, Iowa) took the loss for the Bulldogs as her record falls to 1-10. She pitched two innings, but allowed five runs (two earned) on three hits. Junior Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) pitched the remaining five innings and gave up three runs (two earned). Each pitcher allowed one home run.
On offense, Schmidt accounted for the other Drake run, with her solo blast in the fourth inning. Freshman Megan Sowa (Gurnee, Ill.) was 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs.
Wichita State took the early lead in its first at-bat, as leadoff hitter Cacy Williams circled the bases following her single. Brittany Fortner plated Williams on a one-out double to left field.
Brewer responded with her first home run in the bottom of the inning to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead, their first lead of the series against the Shockers.
Williams knotted the score, 2-2, with a leadoff home run to right field in the top of the third inning, but that was all the Shockers would get as later Schmidt was able to work out of a jam.
Drake regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Schmidt blasted her third home run on the year over the center field fence, to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 advantage.
The Shockers scored two runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead over the Bulldogs. Drake responded in the bottom of the frame with Brewer’s second home run of the day to take a 5-4 lead.
In the following inning, Williams had her second leadoff homerun on the day for Wichita State to tie the game at 5-5.
Wichita State scored for the third consecutive inning, to make the score 8-5, in the top of the seventh inning. Following an error to leadoff the frame, McKinnon hit two straight batters to load the bases before being relieved by Schmidt. The Bulldogs’ miscues came back to haunt the Blue and White, as all three runners scored in the inning. The first run occurred on a sacrifice fly and the final two on a base hit by Kelli Spring.
Brewer hit her third two-run home run of the day in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the score to 8-7, but junior Hayley Nybo’s (Minnetonka, Minn.) ball was just short of the centerfield fence as the Shockers came away with the final out and the win.
The Bulldogs conclude their homestand on Wednesday (April 23) with a matchup against in-state rival Northern Iowa. First pitch against the Panthers is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Ron Buel Field. The two teams split the first two games in the series this season.