Griffon softball stayed hot in cold weather over the weekend extending its winning-streak to eight games and overall record to 20-8 with a 4-0 showing at the Spring Sports Complex.
“We are starting to put the pieces all together and feel really good about where we are,” Coach Jen Bagley said. “But I don’t feel really good about the fact that we have snow on our field again.”
Western was scheduled to play several more games, but snow forced the cancellation of the Missouri Western Softball Classic and the Griffons were only able to reschedule four.
The Griffons defeat Lincoln University 8-3
After entering the third inning down by a run, the Griffon offense exploded for five runs in the bottom half. Tiffany Gillaspy scored after she hit a triple that drove in two runs and Michelle Stevenson hit a home run.
Western tacked on two more runs as the game went on when Bree Fleschner stole home and Kendall Sorensen hit a triple and then made her way home after an error from the second basemen.
Pitcher Janie Smith got the win after pitching all seven innings and allowing just two earned runs and seven hits. Smith is off to a 9-3 start to her freshman season.
Western edges Emporia State University 4-2
The Griffons pulled away in the fourth inning after three scoreless innings in this non-conference game between two of the top teams in the MIAA.
In the bottom of the fourth, Sorensen hit a double that scored Gillaspy. Taylor Anding and Maegan Roemmich both singled to drive in runs and push the Griffons lead to 3-0.
Emporia fired back with a two-run sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough as Western added another run off of a Roemmich double in the bottom half of the inning.
Jackie Bishop pitched all seven innings and gave up six hits and two earned runs while striking out seven batters.
“I felt really good about the way we approached the plate offensively,” Bagley said. “Their pitching is always among top in the league and we really made it seems easy. It was good it see. All of those things came together and showed us what type of things we are capable of.”
Western outscores Northern University 11-6, Bishop breaks record
Western’s bats warmed up in game one of a double-header as the Griffons put two runs on the board in the first inning when Michelle Stevenson hit a double that scored Gillaspy and Fleschner.
Northern responded and tied the game after a throwing error from the Griffons. Western took control of the game in the third inning with four runs off of four hits to make the score 7-2.
Kat Steponovich and Fleschner added home runs to extend the lead.
Jackie Bishop went all seven innings for the win, which put her in the history books ahead of Cheri Kemp as Western’s all-time win leader. Bishop is only in her junior season and is 10-3 on the year.
“Ever since I’ve been here people ask me if I know who Cheri Kemp is,” Bagley said. “To be able to take a record form her is something that Jackie should be very, very proud of because those records and her name have stuck with this program for many years.”
Bishop is now just one win away from the becoming the all-time wins leader.
Griffons blowout Nothern University 15-1 in game two of doubleheader
Fleschner continued her hot hitting by blasting a homer to right field to open up a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Griffons scored six more runs in the first inning to make it 8-2 and the route was on.
Smith pitched her way to her second win of the weekend by going all seven innings.
Fleschner had four of the 12 hits for the game for Western and finished the two games against Northern hitting a perfect 8-for-8 with six runs batted in.
“What we need is confidence and consistency and I think we are starting to achieve that,” Bagley said.
Weather hasn’t been kind to the Griffons so far this spring and they are forced to try and keep their momentum from the eight game winning-steak while practicing in the GISC.
“You go into the indoor and we are grateful to have it, but it isn’t the surface we play on,” Bagley said. “Everything looks different when you have the roof on you. Taking the momentum of us being able to practice on the field is something I’m concerned about.”
Western returns to action on Friday, March 29 at Missouri Southern.