COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Owls softball team closes the regular season in a doubleheader split with Judson College on Wednesday, April 18. The Owls struggled to get the scoring game going to fall 1-0 in game one but took game two 4-3 in a late inning comeback. The W moves to 19-17 on the season and is currently ranked eighth in the USCAA Coaches Poll.
Game One (1-0)
A slow offense cost the Owls softball team the first game of the day.
The first two innings of the matchup belonged to defense with both teams going hitless and scoreless to begin the day.
The Judson Eagles got the game started with two hits in the third but the Owls defense worked doubled time to prevent any runs. Kristen Martin, a junior utility player, made a diving catch in centerfield for the third out to close the side.
In the bottom of the third, the Owls were unable to convert the defense's momentum into an offensive benefit and The W continued its hitless streak.
In the fourth, a Judson batter hit a home run over the left field fence to score the game's only run and secure the victory for the Eagles.
On the mound, junior left-handed pitcher Madison Scoggin took the loss on the mound. The Bay Springs, Miss. native pitched the complete game for six hits against and one earned run.
Game Two (4-3)
In the second game of the day, senior pitcher Cara Hopper played in her last home game as a member of the Owls softball team. The pre-physical therapy major pitched the entire game to record five strikeouts, five hits against, and one earned run for her sixth win on the mound.
Bailey Johnston, freshman infielder, recorded the first hit of the game and the Owls first hit of the day with a double to right center in the second inning.
In the fourth inning, Judson scored the first run of the game on a fielder's choice and with two outs Katyln Duke made a big catch at shortstop to get the Owls off the field.
In the fifth inning, the Eagles scored two more runs on a hit and two errors to take a 3-0 lead.
The momentum changed for The W in the sixth inning. Bailee Watts led off with a single to third base and Heidi Matthews outlast the pitcher at the plate to reach first base on a walk. With two outs, Kristen Martin doubled to left field to bring Watts home for the Owls first run. To tie the game, Duke singled to left field to bring Martin and Matthews home for two RBIs.
In the top of the seventh, the Owls defense held strong. The W allowed Judson to get off one hit but regrouped to get out of the inning.
In the seventh and final inning, Carolyn "Kendall" Wilkinson entered the game as a pinch hitter and doubled down the first baseline to take second base and Bailee Watts was hit by a pitch to take first base.
For the win, Anna Lloyd delivered a walk-off double to bring Wilkinson home and grab an Owls 4-3 victory.
The Owls softball team has a real chance of making it to the USCAA Small College World Series. The W will learn if the season will be extended on Monday, May 7.
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