The Northern Kentucky University Softball team swept Missouri S&T in a two-game series April 11 at S&T Softball Field, in Rolla, Mo.
The Miners (14-21, 6-10 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) scored two runs off of two hits in the bottom of the second to take an early lead in the ballgame. However, the Norse (20-18, 8-8 in the GLVC) quickly answered in the top of the third when freshman right fielder Ashley Gates singled to lead off the inning.
Gates’s at-bat was followed by two quick outs before junior second baseman Rose Broderick singled, advancing Gates to second.’ Freshman shortstop Jessica Farris then singled to left center field to score Gates and cut Missouri S&T’s lead to 2-1.
Sophomore pitcher April Ehlers settled down after second inning trouble, fanning three of the four batters she faced in the third.’ The fourth inning brought trouble when she walked a batter after she had recorded swift outs.’ After the issued walk, S&T senior center fielder Emily Tucker doubled to send home a run and then scored on a muffed throw to make it 4-1 Miners.
NKU chipped away at the lead again in the fifth when Farris doubled and scored off a single from senior first baseman Amanda Smith.
The Norse rallied during the final inning to overcome a 7-3 deficit.
Farris cranked a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run to lead off the inning.’ Smith singled to set up an RBI triple from senior left fielder Shatona Campbell to cut the lead to 7-5.’ Campbell scored on a groundout from junior designated player Sam Del Vecchio to get the Norse within a run.’ With two outs, Gates stepped up to the plate and belted a home run to tie the game at seven all.
‘I was seeing the ball really well in that game,’ Farris said.’ I didn’t even know that I hit it out at first, but when I realized I did, it felt really good.
In the top of the ninth the Norse got a clutch, run scoring single off the bat of sophomore pitcher Chelsie Roy to give them the go-ahead run and claim the game by a 8-7 margin.
‘It was very exciting to win that game because we came from behind,’ Farris said.’ Coach told us we did a great job with all of the clutch hits in the seventh inning.
The Norse took Game 2 of the series with the help of a Roy, who recorded a complete game shutout in the performance.
The only runs in the game came in the top fifth when Gates blasted a two run homer off of Miners senior pitcher Jen O’Hara.’ Ehlers tripled after the homer and scored on a past ball to give the Norse a 3-0 lead, which was enough for the victory.
The Norse had a double header scheduled against the University of Missouri-St. Louis on April 10, but heavy rains canceled the GLVC matchup.’ The two teams made up the games at 1:00 p.m. on April 12, Easter Sunday, at UMSL Field.
The Tritons (30-13, 14-2 GLVC) swept the two-game series against the Norse after a tough pitching staff did not allow NKU to score a run in either game.’