Otahks Fall in Seventh to Valparaiso, Rebound with 8-4 Decision Over Iowa State
March 13, 2004
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - In day two of the Southeast Missouri Spring Classic the Otahks kicked-off the day up 5-2 over Valparaiso, but couldn't hold the lead as Valpo tied the game in the fourth and went on to win 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh. The Otahkians bounced back to deal Big Twelve foe Iowa State an 8-4 blow, snapping their three game losing streak.
Against Valpo, the Crusaders jumped out ahead in the second inning as two back-to-back walks with the bases loaded forced two unearned runs.
Southeast answered back with a monstrous third inning, putting five tallies on the scoreboard. Right fielder Kelly Birk smoked a single into center field advancing both base runners two bases. Stephanie Mata crossed the plate for a Birk RBI and the first run for Southeast. On the next at-bat, first baseman Alana Bagby-Leonard singled to drive in Amy Murphy recording the RBI. Designated player Melissa VanVelkinburg stepped to the plate drilling a double and driving in another run. The Crusaders were forced to make a pitching change bringing in Amanda Gilbertson. She struck out one before SEMO's Victoria Torrez lit her up for a long single into right field, scoring two.
Valpo put together a three hit, three run fourth inning to tie the score at four all for the next two and a half innings. The Otahks went into the bottom of the seventh with hopes of sending the game into extra innings, but errors proved costly. The first batter, Lisa Setzler, reached first and advanced to second on an overthrow to first base. Then on another routine putout at first base, the throw was wild, advancing Setzler two bases to score for the win.
Valpo's Atteberry (1-2) picked up the win, while Otahkian pitcher Jessica Hunter (0-3) took a difficult loss.
Southeast took the field against Iowa State, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on five hits in the first inning. Iowa State took advantage of a Southeast passed ball in the second to record the unearned run.
The Otahkians added a pair of runs to the book in the third and sixth innings, while adding one in the fourth. Van Velkinburg led off the third inning with a beautiful cut right up the middle field to reach first. Mata stepped to the plate, sending the ball out of the park for her second home run in just two days, accounting for both runs in the third. Murphy scored the unearned run in the third, while Van Velkinburg knocked in both RBIs in the sixth, capturing an 8-1 lead.
ISU put up three more runs over the final two innings, but Southeast held on to win 8-4 as they posted a 13-6 advantage in the hit department. Amy Fahnestock (2-2) picked up the win for Southeast, pitching a complete game victory with four strikeouts and two earned runs. Katie Reichling (0-3) took the loss for ISU.
Six Otahkians put together a multiple hit game against ISU, while Muphy led the team in batting average on the day, going four-for-six and drawing one walk. Lair and Torrez both recorded two RBI's.
Southeast returns to action tomorrow, March 14, at 10:00 a.m. against Indiana State and 2:00 p.m. against Bradley.
In the opening game of the Southeast Missouri Spring Classic this afternoon freshman center fielder Stephanie Mata homered over the center field wall to tie Southwest Missouri State 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Mata sent the game into extra innings but SMS broke the game open with three runs in the top of the ninth going on to earn the 5-3 win.
The Otahks got on the board first this afternoon in the fourth as Southeast out-hit the Lady Bears 5-to-1 over the first four innings. Designated player Melissa Van Velkinburgh started the driving a beautifully hit ball into right field to reach the bag. Stacey DeClue came into pinch run for Van Velkinburgh and would later score. Left fielder Lindsay Pickering knocked another solid single into the outfield sending DeClue to second and then they both advanced one base on a passed ball by SMS pitcher Shannon Buslepp. Jaime Birk would then record the RBI, batting in DeClue with a bunt to third base.
SMS came back with a big sixth inning, recording two runs, neither of which were earned. SMS's Charity Head reached first on a walk and then advanced to third on two back-to-back wild pitches. Buslepp took advantage of the situation singling up the right field line, scoring Head. Teammate Alicia Jager singled later in the innings to knock in Ashley Meredith who originally reached on a walk.
Southeast's Mata stole the show right back in the bottom of the sixth, lighting up for her first home run as an Otahkian, tying the score and eventually sending it to extra innings.
The score remained tied until the ninth when SMS took advantage of the fastpitch softball rule of placing a runner on second base to start each inning over regulation. The Lady Bear's April Johnson placed a perfect infield sacrifice hit to move Jager to third. On the subsequent play, SMS's Katie Martin smoked a line drive up the left field line allowing Jager to score.
The Lady Bear's then capitalized on a squeeze bunt running out the ball to first. Southeast then tried for the putout of Martin at third, but overthrow Birk and the ball rolled into the far outfield corner allowing two to score.
In the bottom of the ninth the Otahks attempted the comeback as Suzi Lair hit into a fielder's choice, driving Pickering home and recording the RBI, but that wasn't enough as the squad left two people stranded on base and fell 5-3.
Junior college transfer Amy Fahnestock (1-2) was credited with the loss, pitching the complete nine innings striking out five and allowing six hits. Lady Bear Amanda Herbster (5-3) claimed the win in 3.1 innings of work.
Southeast will return to the field early tomorrow morning as they challenge Valparaiso to a dual as part of their annual Southeast Missouri Spring Classic being held this weekend at the Southeast Softball Complex. The first-pitch is slated for 10:00 a.m. The Otahks will then play again at 2:00 p.m. against Iowa State.
Throughout the afternoon eight collegiate softball contests will be going on and admission is free. Come out to the games to enjoy the weather and the spirit of competition.