PITTSBURG - Hilary Erbert and Cheslyn Mitchell combined to only allow one run in 11 innings, as their solid pitching effort led the Pittsburg State softball team to an 8-0 and 12-1 sweep of Arkansas Tech on Tuesday evening (April 17).
Erbert earned the win in game one with a complete game shut out. She did not give up a hit in the game until two outs in the sixth inning and gave up only two hits overall in the game. She struck out four batters and walked two. Mitchell threw five innings in the 12-1 win in game two. The one run she gave up was unearned. She gave up only three hits, one in the first inning and two in the fifth.
Of course, the pitchers also were helped by the offense. Pitt State scored its eight runs on 14 hits and one Arkansas Tech error in game one. The team combined for four home runs and a double. In game two, the team scored its 12 runs on six hits and six Arkansas Tech errors. Pitt State had only one extra base hit in game two.
Mitchell and Mannie DeCastro worked together to score the first run of game one in the bottom of the first inning. Mitchell started the team with a one-out double. DeCastro followed with a base hit, advancing Mitchell to third. With runners on first and third, the two executed a double steal to score Mitchell to put Pitt State up 1-0.
A Katelyn Birchfield solo home run, her first of the season, putting the Gorillas up 2-0 in the second.
With one out in the fifth, a Brenna George base hit got a Gorilla rally started. Mitchell followed with a base hit. Then DeCastro hit her 14th home run of the season, tying Tiffany Brown for the school's single season home run record. Not to be outdone, Brown smacked a home run of her own, taking the record back with her 15th home run of the year. After a pitching change and the second out of the inning, Kayla Sears hit the third home run of the inning and her third of the season.
The Gorillas ended the game with their eighth run in the bottom of the sixth. Devon McCreath led off the inning with a base hit up the middle. She moved to second on a George sacrifice bunt, then scored on back-to-back hits by Mitchell and DeCastro.
The Gorillas started with a very strong first inning in game two, as they scored nine runs on five hits and four errors. George led off the game beating out an infield base hit and the stole season. Mithell followed with a base hit, moving Mitchell to third. A DeCastro RBI ground out scored George for the first run. Brown walked. Ketcham reached on an error that allowed Mitchell to score. Kayla Sears drew a walk, but the fourth ball was a wild pitch that allowed Brown to score and Ketcham moved to third on a throwing error by the Golden Sun catcher. Molly Stiens scored Ketcham with a base hit to left for a 4-0 lead. Birchfield reached on the third error of the inning. The error also allowed Sears to score. After the second out of the inning, George knocked a base hit back at the pitcher in her second at bat of the inning. Mitchell cleared the bases with a double for an 8-0 lead. DeCastro reached on an error that allowed Mitchell to score to put Pitt State up by nine runs.
The remaining three Pitt State runs scored in the fourth on one hit and two errors. Mitchell led off the inning with the one hit, her third of the game. The pitcher helped her own effort as she was 3-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. DeCastro reached on a muffed throw on a sacrifice bunt attempt, allowing Mitchell to move all the way to third. A double steal in a first and third situation by Mitchell and DeCastro brought Mitchell home. Brown drew a walk. Erbert flew out to right, but the shot was long enough to allow DeCastro to move to third. Avery Beard reached on a fielding error that scored DeCastro. Two consecutive wild pitches brought Brown home for the final Pitt State run of the game.
Arkansas Tech scored its only run on two hits and one error in the top of the fifth.
Pitt State will travel to Topeka and Hays, Kan. this weekend for its final regular season games. The Gorillas will take on Washburn at 2 p.m. on Friday and Fort Hays State at 1 p.m. on Saturday.