March 26, 2010
LETU splits doubleheader with Ozarks
CLARKSVILLE, Ark. – Kelsie Mercer-Stephenson was outstanding on the mound in the opener as the LeTourneau University softball team split with the University of the Ozarks Friday in an American Southwest Conference East Division doubleheader as the YellowJackets won the first game, 9-0, in five innings, but fell 3-2, in the second contest at Hurie Field.
Stephenson (6-3) was masterful in the first game with a two-hit, three-strikeout performance as LeTourneau picked up its first American Southwest Conference East Division win.
The YellowJackets (9-9 overall, 1-7 ASC East) showed no signs of a long bus trip in the first game by scoring four runs – all with two outs – on five hits to grab a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Kylie Packard, who went 3-for-3, singled to right with two outs and moved to second when Christin Mickelboro, who was 2-for-2, walked. Kali Behrens homered to left-center to clear the bases. Stephenson followed with a single through the left side and Devin Borsellino reached on an error. Jerrica Cepak singled up the middle to load the bases. Juliana Tuel plated Stephenson with a base hit to left to give the YellowJackets a commanding 4-0 advantage.
LeTourneau added a run in the second as Kayla Blucher, who went 2-for-4, singled up the middle and advanced to third on a base hit to left-center by Packard. Mickelboro plated Blucher with a sacrifice fly to right.
The YellowJackets increased the lead to 6-0 with a run in the third as Borsellino reached on an error. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cepak. Borsellino moved up a base on a Tuel groundout and scored on a double to right-center by Simmons.
LeTourneau got a solo homer to left by Packard to begin the fourth to take a 7-0 lead.
The scoring continued in the fifth as Tuel reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to begin the inning. She was out at second on Crissy Simmons' fielder's choice. Simmons, who went over the 100-hits career plateau at LeTourneau during the doubleheader, stole second and advanced to third on a bunt single by Blucher. Blucher stole second. Packard followed with a sacrifice fly to left to plate Simmons as Blucher took third. Mickelboro doubled to right-center to score Blucher, giving the YellowJackets a 9-0 lead.
Stephany Henson (4-6) pitched five innings for the Lady Eagles. She surrendered nine runs (seven earned) on 12 hits, while walking one.
In the second game, Ozarks (7-13, 1-5) came out swinging and scored three runs on four hits, while taking advantage of an error to grab a 3-0 lead.
LeTourneau rallied in the fourth by scoring a run on three hits.
Packard, who went 2-for-4, began the inning with a base hit to left and advanced to third on a double to center by Mickelboro. With one down, Ashley McPhail, who was 2-for-2, singled to left to plate Packard to cut the Lady Eagles lead to 3-1.
The YellowJackets continued to chip away at the Lady Eagles advantage by scoring a run in the top of the fifth.
Blucher reached on an error with two outs and took second on the play. Packard followed with a base hit to center and advanced to second on the play as Blucher scored to cut the Ozarks advantage to 3-2.
LeTourneau put two runners on base in the sixth but couldn't plate the tying run.
Alex Flanagan (3-3) took the loss after pitching six innings. She surrendered three runs (one earned) on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Kelsey Medford (2-3) earned the win after working seven innings. She gave up a pair of runs (one earned) on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout.
LeTourneau continues its road series with a noon doubleheader on Saturday, March 27 in American Southwest Conference East Division at Hurie Field against the University of the Ozarks.