PITTSBURG -- The Pittsburg State softball team (14-8) scored 21 runs through 15 innings in a doubleheader split with No. 23 Winona State on Wednesday (March 20) afternoon at the PSU Softball Complex. The Gorillas won game one 10-5, but fell in game 2, 13-11, in eight innings.
In game one, Pitt State scored its 10 runs off 12 hits and two Winona State errors. The Warriors scored five runs on seven hits and two Gorilla errors. of the 19 hits, only four were for extra bases, all by the Gorillas.
Kreslee Ketcham led Pitt State with a 4-for-4 performance in game one. She had a home run, two RBI and scored two runs. Tiffany Brown was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run. Brenna George was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Jordan Bradshaw went 1-for-1 with a walk, a sacrifice fly, two runs and an RBI.
Winona State got on the board first with two runs in the top of the second.
The Gorillas answered quickly with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Bradshaw led off with a base hit through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Molly Stiens was hit by a pitch. Cheslyn Mitchell grounded out, moving both runners into scoring position. Brenna George dropped a base hit just out of reach of both the short stop and centerfielder to score both runners. After the second out of the inning, Katelyn Birchfield doubled to center to score George for the 3-2 lead.
Winone State took the lead once again with three runs in the top of the fourth on two walks, two hits, a hit batter and a PItt State error. Pitt State starter Haleigh Sills walked the first two batters of the inning before she was replaced by Samantha Grove. Sills was responsible for one of the runs scored in the inning, and Grove, the other two.
Once again PItt State had an answer for the Warriors scoring in the bottom half of the inning. Riley Campbell was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Kayla Sears was safe at first on a muffed throw on her attempted sacrifice bunt. Bradshaw walked to load the bases. Stiens singled up the middle to score Campbell and keep the bases loaded. Two straight infield flies left the Gorillas with two outs, but a run scored on the second one, as the Warriors short stop dropped the ball. Tiffany Brown's RBI base hit scored the final run of the inning, giving the Gorillas a 6-5 lead.
Kyndel Shelburn came in to finish the game in the circle in the top of the fifth. She allowed only a hit and a walk in the final three innings.
Pitt State stretched its lead to two runs in the fifth as Ketcham scored on a Bradshaw sacrifice fly.
The Gorillas added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. George started the Pitt State offense with a one-out base hit and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Brown traded places with her for the 8-5 lead. A two-out, two-run home run by Ketcham sealed the 10-5 win.
Grove was the pitcher of record when Pitt State took the lead, giving her the win and a 3-2 record on the season. Shelburn earned the first save of her career.
Pitt State outhit Winona State 15-13 in game two. Each team had one error. Ketcham continued her strong performance with another 4-for-4 performance, this time with five RBI, two runs scored, a double and a home run. She was also intenionally walked in the eighth inning. George was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and a sacrifice. Mitchell and Katelyn Birchfield were each 2-for-5. Mitchell scored three runs and Birchfield scored two runs and recorded two RBI.
Pitt State scored first in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run by Brown.
Winona State quickly took the lead with six runs on five hits and two walks in the top of the second.
Pitt State cut the led lead to 6-4 with two runs in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back base hits by Ketcham and Birchfield and a Campbell ground out put two runners in scoring position. Kayla Sears' double brought them both home.
A grand slam in the top of the fourth put the Warriors up 10-4.
The Gorillas stayed resilient and pushed across three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. A Birchfield base hit scored one run and a Ketcham double scored two more.
In the sixth, PItt State tied the game. Mitchell and George started the inning with back-to-back base hits. Then with two outs, Ketcham hit her second home run of the day, giving her three more RBI and tying the game at 10-10.
Neither team scored in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Because this was not a conference game, the international tiebreaker rules took effect immediately in the eighth inning.
A runner was placed on second to start the inning. She moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a routine base hit. A home run by Morgan Lintz scored two more runs and proved to be the game winning run.
Pitt State was able to push one run across in the eighth, but ended the game with the 13-11 loss.
Shelburn started the game and threw four innings. Jessica Barnes replaced her in the fifth and took the loss.
The Gorillas will return to conference play on Friday and Saturday. The team will play a doubleheader at Lindenwood at 2 p.m. on Friday and at Truman at 1 p.m. on Saturday.