The Griffons began their three-school six game road trip last Friday with a double header against the Lindenwood Lions, followed by a double header against the Lincoln Blue Tigers and ended Tuesday with a double header against the rival Northwest Bearcats.
Head coach Jen Trotter felt confident about her team’s position going into the road streak.
“We felt pretty good about where we were and how we were swinging the bats and to get back into conference play, we were really looking forward to this weekend,” Trotter said.
Although the team was confident going into the trip they came out flat in the first game against Lindenwood.
Western took a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning but Lindenwood clawed back while holding off the Griffons. They scored six runs and blanked Western in fourth through seventh inning to win 6-4.
The Griffons piled up 10 hits including a homerun by first baseman Kailey Green, but still fell short. Trotter believes that struggling fundamentally led to the loss.
“We just did not have our best effort, we didn’t take care of the ball in the circle very well,” Trotter said. “We just didn’t look very sharp.”
Western bounced back in game two, scoring six runs in the first inning, starting with a two run homer from second baseman Paige Shifflett. That first inning would set the pace for an 11-5 victory for the Griffons.
Shifflett added a double to accompany her homerun and drove in two RBIs in the game. Pitcher Shyanne Saladino got the win, pushing her record to 12-3.
Next Western set their sights on the Lincoln Blue Tigers where the Griffons had no trouble dominating.
Game one of the double header only lasted five innings thanks to a 10-0 lead by Western. Pitcher Janie Smith sported a no hitter until the last inning when a grounder towards Green got through and counted for the Blue Tigers only hit.
Trotter felt that the missed no hitter was the only down side to their win.
“That was disappointing because she was that close to throwing a no hitter,” Trotter said. “I think Kailey Green probably owes her lunch or something.”
Smith recorded the game one win and went on to pitch the majority of game two. The Griffons kept their foot on the gas in the second game, once again shutting out the Blue Tigers with a score of 8-0.
The road trip was rounded up against the Bearcats of Northwest and in game one Western continued their shutout streak.
Both teams were held scoreless until the fifth inning when the Griffons tacked on three runs courtesy of center fielder Morgan Rathmann’s single and short stop Shelbie Atwell’s double. They scored their last run in the sixth inning and went on to take a 4-0 victory over the Bearcats.
Northwest came out on fire in the final game by quickly taking a 6-0 lead in the first inning. Neither team scored again until the fourth when designated player Taylor Hamilton crushed a solo homer to make the score 6-1. Later, going into the seventh inning the Griffons were down 9-4, but Western homered three times in a row to tie the game up 9-9, forcing extra innings. Unfortunately in the eighth inning the Bearcats hit a walk-off single to steal a 10-9 win.
Green and third baseman Katie Klosterman homered once while Hamilton went yard twice in the game.
Coming out of the road stretch Western is now 26-10 overall and 11-3 in the conference, good enough for second place in the MIAA behind Pittsburg State.
The Griffons return home Saturday April, 2 for a double header against the Fort Hays State Tigers.