Softball Drops OVC Doubleheader At Jacksonville State
April 6, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Southeast Missouri State softball suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of host Jacksonville State this afternoon by scores of 6-3 and 9-4 to open a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at University Field in Jacksonville, Ala. The Redhawks' season record dropped to 10-19 (4-7) with the losses, while the Gamecocks improved to 20-14 (7-5).
Southeast opened the first game with a 2-0 lead in the first inning after senior center fielder Stephanie Mata (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling HS) lined a two-run homer to left center that also scored freshman left fielder Elise Sperakos (Nipomo, Calif./Nipomo). The Gamecocks bounced back with five runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a three-run homer from junior Whitney Elder and a two-run homer from freshman Mary Beth Ledbetter for a 5-2 advantage.
Jacksonville State increased its leading margin to 6-2 in the fifth inning on junior Alana Hicks' RBI sacrifice fly to center field that plated freshman Chrissy O'Neal, who singled to lead off the inning. The Redhawks added a run in the seventh inning as junior shortstop Megan McDonald (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Cape Central) posted an RBI single to score junior right fielder Katie Otterness (Schaumburg, Ill./Hoffman Estates) from third for the final margin.
Freshman Nikki Prier led the Gamecocks offensively by going 2-for-3 at the plate, while junior Karla Pittman (13-7) claimed the complete-game win despite allowing three runs on 11 hits in addition to producing six strikeouts and four walks.
McDonald tied her career high of four hits to lead Southeast, while Mata and sophomore designated hitter Amber Peterson (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian) each hit 2-for-3, respectively. Junior Elaine Fisher (St. Peters, Mo./Francis Howell North) took the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits. Fisher (7-13) struck out five Jacksonville State batters and posted three walks in six innings of work.
In the second game, the Redhawks claimed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as freshman pitcher Stacia Dopudja (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) brought home junior third baseman Michelle Summers (Glendale, Calif./Hoover) from third with a single to right center. McDonald later scored from third on a wild pitch.
Jacksonville State sliced its deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the first behind an RBI single from senior Daniela Pappano that scored junior Rachel Fleming from second base. The Gamecocks claimed a 3-2 lead in the second inning after freshman Ciara Wiesen reached on a fielder's choice and Ledbetter walked before both runners scored on a Southeast infield error.
Fleming doubled down the left field line to score Ledbetter from first that increased the Gamecocks' leading margin to 4-2 in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Wesen lined a two-run double to hike the home team's advantage to 6-2.
Sperakos jacked a two-run homer to left center in the top of the sixth that helped pull the Redhawks within two runs at 6-4. Jacksonville State added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a three-run home run from Hicks to provide the final margin.
Pappano hit 3-for-4 and scored two runs to lead the Gamecocks. Sophomore Melissa Dowling (6-5) captured the win for Jacksonville State as she produced five strikeouts while giving up four runs on seven hits in five and two-third innings on the mound. Pittman claimed her second save of the year by holding Southeast to two hits in one and one-third innings of relief.
Summers led the Redhawks by going 3-for-4 at the plate, while Dopudja went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Dopudja (1-5) took the loss after allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits in four innings of work.
Both teams will conclude the series with a single game tomorrow afternoon at University Field. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m.