Sports, UCM Sports

Freshman steals the show at softball’s senior day

Jennies softball sent off five seniors on Senior day with a doubleheader against Central Oklahoma Tuesday at the South Recreation Complex.

Catcher Allie Dishinger, third basemen Emily King, pitcher Katie Giacone, centerfielder Courtni Smith and outfielder Makayla Schoonover played their last home games as Jennies. The Jens took game one 4-3 and game two 5-0.

Game one featured a tight contest in which the Jens carried a 2-1 lead into the final inning. The Bronchos struck first with a run in the second inning, but the Jens would come right back with two of their own from a two-run home run from shortstop Kaitlyn Markin.

Jennies starter Alexa Bradley took control after being handed the lead and put in three scoreless innings of work before a Bronchos batter reached second base. Giacone entered the game in relief, but couldn’t get out of the jam allowing the tying run to come across.

Neither team could break the tie by the end of seven innings prompting extra softball to be played. Giacone stayed in the game in the eighth, but surrendered what appeared to be the go-ahead run after Bronchos Allie Eicher went yard.

With their backs against the wall in the bottom of the eighth, King slashed a one-out single to the opposite field. First basemen Hailey Crabtree singled home the tying run, Giacone came in to pinch run for Crabtree and would score the game-winning run on a UCO wild pitch to give the Jennies the walk-off victory.

In addition to her game-tying RBI, Crabtree was responsible for three of the Jennies eight hits to push her season average to .361. Giacone continued her dominant work in relief despite giving up the go-ahead run, her ERA continues to drop and is now at 2.79 and she has given up just four runs in her last 14 appearances.

Game two stole the show from the seniors when the spotlight was on freshman pitcher Sarah Brown. She went the distance pitching seven scoreless innings only needing 83 pitches to down the Bronchos.

The Jens did all their scoring in the middle innings with Dishinger and leftfielder Taylor Dames fueling the offense. In the second inning, Dishinger followed a two-out single from second basemen Alexis Koop with a two-run home run to put the Jens on top 2-0. Three more runs would go up for the Jennies resulting in a shutout victory to secure the sweep of Central Oklahoma, who sits two games back in the conference standings.

Brown had the best appearance of her college career going all seven innings, her career high prior to the complete game was multiple six-inning efforts. Eighty-three pitches also mark the most thrown by Brown in an appearance this season.

Dames collected two hits in the second game of the doubleheader raising her season average to .304.

With both wins, the Jennies overall record is 27-19 with a conference mark of 16-6. They are currently tied for second in the MIAA conference with Northwest Missouri State, both teams trail first-place Washburn by four games.

There are only four games left on the regular season schedule for the Jens and they’re both road doubleheaders. Friday, April 20, will see the Jennies travel to the state’s capital to take on Lincoln. Game one is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. with game two scheduled to follow at 4 p.m. In the season finale, the Jennies will face Lindenwood Saturday, April 21. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. with game two following at 3 p.m.

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