Softball bounces back at home

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No. 21 Missouri Western Softball swept MIAA opponents Fort Hays State and Washburn in double headers over the weekend at Spring Sports Complex to improve its record to 29-6 on the season and 12-2 in conference play.

The Griffons bounced back and won four straight after losing back-to-back games at Emporia State, their only MIAA losses of the season.

“Bouncing back from Emporia was really important for us from a momentum standpoint,” coach Jen Bagley said. “The loss to Emporia took a lot of wind out of our sail, and it stung for quite a few days but it doesn’t sting as bad anymore. That’s what we needed to do.”

Sophomore Jackie Bishop allowed just three hits and pitched two complete games in her two starts to improve her record to 15-2 on the season.

Along with Annalee Rubio, each delievered a shut-out game this past weekend.

“She continues to be successful for us. Of all the athletes on this team, she is no different and that sting from Emporia really poked the bear,” Bagley said. “How she came out to play today and yesterday is evidence of that and I hope that will continue from here on out.”

Bishop struck out 12 and only allowed one hit in game one against Hays, but Western was still down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Blair Stalder hit a sacrifice to score Kim Robinson and tie the game. Keri Lorbert then hit a two-run double to give the Griffons the 3-1 victory.

“All of the sudden, you could tell the team was like we cannot lose,” Bagley said. “If we would have lost that, it would have been devastating. When you have momentum on your side that’s pretty powerful, and if we would have lost this game, it would have taken a lot to get it back.”

The Griffons opened up the second game against Hays with four straight hits, including a three-run home run by Lorbert. Western had a 4-0 lead after the first inning.

Rubio pitched a complete game shutout and improved her record to 11-4 on the season while striking out six batters as the Griffons run-ruled the Tigers in the sixth inning and won 8-0.

Bishop took the mound in the first game Saturday against Washburn and struck out six batters while only allowing two hits and pitching her fifth shutout of the season. The Griffons won 8-0 in six innings for the second game in a row.

“I’ve just been trying to go out there and focus on hitting my corners,” Bishop said. “It’s great to have a great team behind me, and I always have them backing me up.”

Western finished with 14 hits in the game including 3-for-3 from Stalder.

The Griffons had an 8-2 lead in the second game of the double-header against Washburn after three innings, but the Lady Blues wouldn’t go away.

Washburn cut the lead to 8-7 in the fourth inning by hitting a grand slam home run and a solo home run. Emily Moe relieved Rubio on the mound, stopped the run, and prevented Washburn from scoring in the final three innings.

The Griffons added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Erin Widrig scored on a error and won 9-7. They head to Pittsburg, Kan. Friday to play the Gorillas in a double header before going to Joplin, Mo. Saturday to play another two-game series, this one against Missouri Southern.

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