Griffon softball opened up the 2015 season on the road in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, at the Henderson State Tournament.
Saturday, Feb. 7, Western faced off against the host school Henderson State.
First baseman Paige Shifflett opened the top of the second inning with a solo homer to left field. Shifflett went 1 of 3 in the game.
Second baseman Tiffany Gillaspy hit a solo homer of her own to left field in the top of the third inning. Gillaspy went 1 of 3 from the plate.
Those two solo shots sealed the Griffons’ 2-0 victory over the Reddies.
The Griffons continued their momentum going into Saturday’s late game against Mississippi College.
A hot start from the Choctaws gave them a 2-0 lead over Western in the first inning off of two singles.
Pitcher Janie Smith, who went 2 of 3 from the plate, hit a solo homer to left to keep the Griffons within one in the second inning.
Mississippi College added one more after an error in the fourth, making it 3-1 in favor of the Choctaws.
Gillaspy hit another home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Morgan Rathmann hit a homer to right center, scoring Taylor Schaben. That 2-run shot gave the Griffons a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning. Shifflett scored Gillaspy after hitting a double.
The Griffons took the second game of the day 5-3 over the Choctaws.
Head coach Jen Bagley-Trotter was happy with how Saturday’s games have gone.
“It was really good for the club to get the feeling…this is how we play,” Bagley-Trotter said. “Saturday night was a really good night. That felt great.”
Sunday, Feb. 8 was the day of two halves for Western.
The Griffons opened up the day against Arkansas-Monticello.
Western started off hot, scoring two quick runs in the first inning. But, they weren’t done yet.
After going into the fourth inning with a 2-0 lead, the Griffons went on to score 12 more runs in that inning alone.
Western stormed past the Boo Weevils of Arkansas-Monticello 14-0.
“The ball was ginormous against Arkansas-Monticello,” Bagley-Trotter said. “That’s, traditionally, a very good program.”
They closed the tournament against Ouachita Baptist.
The Griffons couldn’t get anything going at the plate. They were on the wrong side of a one-hit shutout.
The Tigers used a four-run fourth inning to win 8-0 over the Griffons.
“I think we got to see some good things, some things that have us excited about the future of what our season could do and could be,” Bagley-Trotter. “But, I think we saw some things that we’re going to have to do a good job of controlling, handling and maturing.”
Western will head back to Arkansas this weekend for the Arkansas-Monticello Tourney. They are set to play Truman State on Friday, Feb. 13. First pitch is at 11 a.m.