DeCastro, Brown in home run race
Amelia Mallatt | Sports Reporter
The Pittsburg State University softball team won its final two home games against Arkansas Tech on Tuesday, April 17.
Hilary Erbert and Cheslyn Mitchell pitched two outstanding games for the Gorillas in the sweep. Combined, Mitchell and Erbert allowed only one run in 11 innings. An explosive offense also helped PSU, as they won the first game 8-0 and the second 12-1. Erbert pitched a complete game shutout in game one while Mitchell threw all five innings in game two. The one run she allowed was unearned.
In game one, Pitt State scored eight runs on 14 hits and one Arkansas Tech error. The team had five extra-base hits: four home runs and a double. In game two, the team scored 12 runs on six hits and six Arkansas Tech errors. Pitt State had only one extra-base hit in game two, but the defense backed up the superb pitching performances.
“It’s really good to have such a great defense behind you,” Mitchell said. “It takes a lot of relief off your shoulders, and especially having a great offense as well that can put all of our runs on the board and allows the pitcher to not have to stress when the other team scores.”
The first game was a beneficial game in the home run category for Tiffany Brown and Manny DeCastro. DeCastro hit her 14th home run of the season, tying Brown for the school’s single season record. The tie didn’t last long, though. Brown smacked a homer of her own, taking the record back with her 15th home run.
“Tiffany Brown and Manny DeCastro are fun to watch at the plate,” head coach Elizabeth Economon said. “They obviously have great power numbers and are great to have in the middle of the lineup. With back-to-back threats like that, it makes it difficult for other teams. Cheslyn Mitchell is swinging great and hitting more doubles than I’ve seen in awhile. She’s strong, has lots of power and is a great offensive threat.”
Katelyn Birchfield also contributed with her first home run of the season while Kayla Sears belted her third.
Game two started off sharp for PSU. They scored nine runs on five hits and four errors in the first inning. The final three runs came in the fourth inning on one hit and two errors. Arkansas Tech scored its only run on two hits and one error in the top of the fifth.
The women will face their final two opponents of the regular season this weekend. The Gorillas travel to Topeka on Friday, April 20, to take on Washburn at 2 p.m. before going to Hays, where they will face Fort Hays State at 1 p.m.
Economon says she is eager to see what the girls can do this weekend.
“It’s a big weekend for us,” Economon said. “It will determine our seeding for the conference, so we need to come out and dominate both teams. As far as our pitching and batting, our pitching is great. We’ve improved dramatically since the beginning of the season. The girls are pitching smart and going in with a plan.”