Viking Softball Splits with Baker at HomePosted March 20, 2017
Marshall, Mo. (March 20, 2017)- The Missouri Valley College softball team hosted Baker (Kan.) University Monday afternoon in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader. The Vikings lost the opener in a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, but used a pair of homeruns to win the second game, 6-2.
Sophomore Pitcher Mackenzie Hombs (Huntsville, Mo.) worked around a one-out double in the top of the first inning to strand a Wildcat baserunner. Missouri Valley put a runner on in the bottom half of the inning, as Junior First Baseman Mackenzie Bilger (Boise, Idaho) worked a one-out walk, but she was left stranded to end the inning. Baker came through with a run in the top of the second inning, getting a two-out single to bring home the first run. Missouri Valley tried to counter in the bottom half of the inning, as Sophomore Rightfielder Kaila DeWitt (San Diego, Calif.) led off with a single, but she was left stranded at second base. Hombs gave up a lead-off walk in the third, but turned a double play to work around the baserunner. Missouri Valley produced just one baserunner over the next three innings, but Hombs kept Baker from adding to its lead. The Wildcats put two runners on in the top of the seventh inning, but Hombs got around the jam to keep MVC at a one run deficit. DeWitt got her second hit of the game, getting on base with a one-out single. Junior Jessica Jarvis (Littleton, Colo.) came in to pinch run, and eventually moved to second base on a passed ball. The Vikings had the winning run at the plate, but could not tie or take the lead, and fell to Baker, 1-0.
Leading the way for Missouri Valley was DeWitt, who finished with two hits. Hombs pitched a complete game, giving up five hits and one earned run with one strikeout.
Baker opened the second game with a run in the top of the first inning, using one hit and a Viking error to grab a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats added to their advantage in the second inning, getting a lead-off homer to make the score 2-0. The Vikings answered back in the bottom half of the inning as DeWitt worked a walk, followed by a single from Freshman Designated Player Madison Finley (Papillion, Neb.). Later in the inning, a wild pitch allowed DeWitt to score, and MVC’s deficit shrank to 2-1. Freshman Pitcher Dana Flanagan (Canton, Mo.) worked through the Baker order facing the minimum through the third and fourth innings. Missouri Valley put together a rally in the bottom of the fourth as DeWitt got on base after a Baker error to lead off the inning. Another error on a Freshman Sara Jones (Palmdale, Calif.) grounder allowed DeWitt to score. Sophomore Catcher Kelly James (San Carlos, Calif.) followed with a double to score Jones, and Missouri Valley moved in front, 3-2. After Flanagan ended the top of the fifth with a strikeout, the Vikings put the game out of reach. Senior Second Baseman Kaya Naiwi (Nanakuli, Hawaii) hit a two-out solo homer. DeWitt got on base again with a single and Finley added a two-run homerun, giving MVC a 6-2 lead. Flanagan took down Baker in order in the sixth, then worked around a lead-off double in the seventh to preserve the victory, 6-2.
Leading the way for Missouri Valley was Finley who finished with two hits, two RBI’s a run scored and her first homerun of the season. Naiwi had one hit, one RBI and one run scored with her fourth homerun. DeWitt finished with one hit and three runs scored, while Jones added one hit, a run scored and one RBI. Flanagan pitched a complete game, giving up four hits, and one earned run with four strikeouts.
The split moves Missouri Valley to 5-9 overall and 1-5 in the Heart. Baker is now 12-9 overall and 5-3 in conference play.
Up next for the Viking softball team is another Heart doubleheader Tuesday in Fayette, Mo., against Central Methodist (Mo.) University. The first game starts at 2 p.m.
About Missouri Valley College
Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 30 academic programs, study abroad program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, criminal justice and exercise science. Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit www.moval.edu.