Softball splits double header with Lady Blues

Softball Sports

The Missouri Western Griffons split a double header with the Washburn Lady Blues on Friday at Heritage Park.

In the first game, the Griffons had no trouble runs as they beat Washburn 9-0 in five innings.

The Griffons had twelve hits in the game. Left fielder Toni Dance had three of them, which improved her batting average to .333.

Samantha Hudson and Toni Dance lead the team each driving in two runs. The Lady Blues just couldn’t figure out pitcher Jonnelle Belger, as they managed only hits in her complete game shutout.

Senior Sam Buchanan bunts the ball during Western’s double header against Washburn. The Griffons split the games 1-1. Photo Sara Baum

Washburn started Kelsie Novotny game up six runs, three of them earned while only lasting one and one third innings. Samantha Farris then came in for the next three innings, giving up three runs. Two of them were earned.

The Griffons started out on fire, scoring four runs in the first inning and then carried that momentum for the rest of the game. Jonnelle Belger improved to (6-6) on the year and lowered her era to 3.37. She was also able to get four strikeouts and gave up two walks. The Griffons improved to 13-10 and 1-0 in the MIAA.

Extra innings were needed in the second game of the double header, but the Griffons weren’t so lucky in this one, falling 3-1 to the Washburn Lady Blues.
The hot bats that the Griffons had in the first game fell cold in the second, as they were only able to come up with five hits.

Washburn pitcher Kayla Long pitched strong in this game, going seven innings, giving up the one earned run, with two walks and a strikeout. The one run came on a Toni Dance bomb over the left field wall.

“It’s just pretty much about having fun,” Dance said. “Sure, sometimes you’re just not seeing the ball, but if you’re not having fun then it doesn’t really work for you.”

There was very little action in the in the first three and a half innings of the game, as the two teams combined for just five hits and no runs. Western starter Allison Jones pitched strong, going seven innings but gave up the three runs over the last two innings.

“I felt like I pitched a lot better today,” Jones said. “I’ve been struggling and I felt like today was just a stepping stone to work my way back to the top.”

But Jones’s effort fell a little short. According to head coach Jen Bagley, the team’s inconsistent play was part of the reason for the loss.

“When you go out and beat a team 9-0 and then come back and lose 3-1 that speaks a lot to your team’s consistency,” Bagley said.

After this loss, the Griffons move to 13-11 and 1-1 in the MIAA. The Griffons will be back in action this Friday, April 2, in a double header against Fort Hays at 4 p.m.

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