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By: Morgan Doyle

Trailing by three in the third inning, Gabi Carter hit a two-run home run that opened up the Griffons’ offense and led them to their fourth win in their past five games.

Missouri Western beat the Northern State Wolves 6-4 on Thursday afternoon in the first game of the 2019 HyVee Classic at the Spring Sports Complex. This win marked Bagley Trotter’s 614th career win, tying her for the most wins by a coach in the MIAA.

The Griffons allowed three runs in the top of the third, but answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.  Morgan Frost led off with a single, and Carter brought her home by sending the ball over the left field fence.

“I know I was down in the count, and I was just swinging at anything close to the zone, getting the bat on the ball and getting solid contact,” Carter said.

A couple batters later, Taylor Hoelscher had an RBI sacrifice fly, and Sydney Hawkins added an RBI of her own with a ground ball up the middle.

Northern State was able to tie it up in the fourth, but an RBI single in the bottom of the inning by Carter put the Griffons back on top for good.

“When we got scored on, our offense just took control, and it was fun to see that kind of shift in energy and us being able to just take it back,” coach Jen Bagley Trotter said.

Western finished the game with nine hits, with eight of them happening in the third inning or later. Carter went 3-4 at the plate and had three RBIs.

Defensively, the Griffons did not have a single error, and pitcher Kaili Hinds got the win, and Lexi Kinnaird got the save.

“It’s really nice when all three aspects of the game kind of pull together,” Carter said. “That’s been something that we’ve really been trying to perfect over the past couple of weeks. We really want to get pitching, hitting and defense all working at the same time and well together.”

Trotter believes part of that is due to her team’s depth and talent.

“The beauty of this team is that we have a number of people that we can switch around. We don’t have to be locked in and feel like we’re handcuffed because, you know, if someone’s struggling or needs a day off, we can put somebody else in, and we’re not going to be any worse off for it,” Bagley Trotter said.

The Griffons have two more games this weekend, including a matchup with the #17 Augustana Vikings on Friday at noon.

Western moves to 16-12 overall and 4-4 in the conference.

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