CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Ranger softball team pulled off a split with the Roger State Hillcats on Tuesday, falling in a heartbreaking 8-7 first game that lasted 11 innings, before taking game two 4-1. The split left the Rangers in sixth place in the Sooner Athletic Conference with a 15-17 overall record, three games back of Rogers State.
Northwestern held a 6-2 lead through six innings of play, which included four runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a leadoff solo shot to centerfield from Jacey Juden and a two-run blast from Christina Mueller.
Rogers State used the long ball to force extra inning, as a two-run home run in the sixth and seventh led to the elongated game.
Using the international tie-breaker, Northwestern took a lead in the seventh as they scored a run, but RSU countered to continue extra innings.
In the 11th inning, Rogers State grabbed the opening game win as they led off with a bunt and scored the game-winning run on a bases loaded sacrifice fly.
Juden went the entire game in the circle for Northwestern, striking out 13 to tie her season best. She scattered nine hits and allowed six earned runs in 48 plate appearances.
The Rangers had three hits more than Rogers State, leading 12-9. Juden led the way offensively, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a run batted in and hit her third home run of the season. Ashley Lovelady and Katie Thomas both picked up two hits.
After falling to a 1-0 first inning deficit in the nightcap, Northwestern pushed across three runs in the third inning on five hits to cruise to a 4-1 win.
Lovelady drove in Therese Beeler, who led the third inning off with a single, with her seventh home run of the season, giving NWOSU a 2-1 lead. Natalie Vasquez’ single to left plated Katie Thomas for the Rangers third run of the inning.
Vasquez drove in her second run of the game, scoring Lovelady in the fifth inning to give NWOSU the eventual win.
Lovelady, Juden and Vasquez all had two hits in the contest.
Juden’s record advanced to 17-13, while allowing just one earned run and four hits, while fanning two batters.
Northwestern (24-22, 15-17) will head to Lubbock, Texas on Friday, April 23 to take on No. 4 Lubbock Christian in doubleheader action beginning at 1 p.m.
Wed, April 21, 2010
by Ryan Hintergardt