C-SC softball team debuts new digs in winning fashion

Posted: Mar. 29, 2014 11:03 pm Updated: Apr. 20, 2014 1:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

CANTON, Mo. -- The Culver-Stockton College softball team had to wait a month for the first home game at its new field.

Yet, Friday, it appeared the Wildcats would have to wait a little longer.

"It looked like a hog lot around the field it was so wet," C-SC coach Aron Potter said.

By Saturday, things at Himsl Field didn't look so bad.

"We had to work so hard to get it ready, but it's a pretty neat thing," Potter said. "Today was pretty special."

Their efforts were rewarded. The Wildcats swept a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader against Missouri Valley, winning a pair of 3-2 games, including a 10-inning affair in the opener.

"We worked so hard on the field. We spent hours out here," sophomore center fielder Jenny Ferguson said. "The field looks absolutely fantastic, and it feels good because we worked hard on it."

In the opener, C-SC got off to a dream start.

With one out in the bottom of the second, Danielle Hearn hit a solo home run to left field to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

"It was great. It felt so good to hit the ball that hard," Hearn said. "Honestly, I didn't expect it to go over, but it was the greatest feeling in the world."

The lead lasted until the sixth when Missouri Valley's Shelby Schmitz led off with a walk. Andrea Davis sacrificed Schmitz to second, and Carrie Hudson singled two batters later to drive in the winning run.

The game stayed tied until the 10th.

With one out in the top of the inning and a runner on second base -- international tiebreaker rules are used in extra innings, meaning the frame starts with a runner on second -- C-SC pitcher Hannah Washburn hit a batter and walked another to load the bases.

After a strikeout, the Vikings' Carrie Hudson delivered a run-scoring single. The inning ended with Missouri Valley's Megan Fanshear getting thrown out at home.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Wildcats responded.

After Anna Linderman walked, Carly Thompson singled to load the bases with no outs. Ferguson popped out, but Rhea Hobson walked to bring in the tying run. Kim Myers with another walk to give the Wildcats the win.

"It's a tough way to lose the ball game (for them), but I'm really proud of my kids of being really patient dealing with the strike zone," Potter said.

Washburn went the distance to earn the victory, striking out nine and allowing only six hits.

"I just wanted to get the win. It was our first home game," Washburn said. "I just wanted to pitch like I always do."

The second game proved to be nearly as dramatic.

Missouri Valley's Lisa Luna led off the game by reaching on an error by Myers, took second on a sacrifice and third on a single before scoring on Davis' double. Missouri Valley added another run in the second for a 2-0 lead.

Once again, C-SC responded. Casey Polak walked in the bottom of the second, and Linderman followed with an RBI single.

In the third inning, the Wildcats tied it when Sam Bolin, who doubled with two outs, scored on a single by Hearn.

In the sixth inning, the Vikings threatened by putting runners on second and third. However, Bolin was able to pitch out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning.

The Wildcats made the Vikings pay for their missed opportunity.

Addie Stottlemyre led the sixth off with a double. Linderman then reached on a sacrifice bunt, but Thompson hit into a double play. Ferguson followed with a triple to drive in Stottlemyre, and give the Wildcats the sweep.

"The team needed it," Ferguson said. "To get that win on our (new) home field, it's great. It feels really great to sweep at home on our new field."


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