Shelburn shuts out Jets for series sweep
Garett McCullough | sports editor
The Pittsburg State Gorilla softball team swept the Newman University Jets to claim a winning season on Wednesday, March 6.
In the first game, the Gorillas held off a Newman rally to win, 7-5, before trouncing the Jets, 11-0, in the second game.
The one, two and three-hole hitters for the Gorillas accounted for most of the scoring in the first game. Junior center fielder Brenna George, freshman shortstop Jordan Bradshaw and sophomore left fielder Cheslyn Mitchell hit 1-2-3 for the Gorillas, respectively. They accounted for five of the seven RBI’s and four of the seven runs.
It was senior catcher/first baseman Kreslee Ketcham who got everything started for the Gorillas. The first inning, Ketcham singled down the left field line, sending George home. Pitching shut down both teams, until the Gorillas broke through in the top of the fourth with five runs.
Kayla Sears scored the first run of the fifth after a throwing error by Newman second baseman Makenzie Flaska. Then, the floodgates opened. Bradshaw scored three with her triple and Mitchell added one more before the inning came to its end.
The Jets came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, but weren’t able to take full advantage of Gorilla first basemen Tiffany Brown’s throwing error and left two on base.
Newman made another push in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs on Samantha Grove before she was pulled in favor of Kylie Harpst. Harpst allowed one more run before closing out the game. Grove earned the decision over Newman’s Taylor Parsons.
Five was the Gorillas’ lucky number on the afternoon as they added two more five-run innings in the second game. Coupled with the Kyndel Shelburn shutout, the Gorillas breezed to the victory.
Mitchell was once again heavily involved in the offense, but the hitters in the bottom of the line-up had their bats heat up as well.
Sophomore second baseman Molly Stiens started things for the Gorillas this game. She got an RBI walk from the eight-hole, which would be the first of seven RBI,s scored in the game by the bottom four hitters. The bottom four hitters also accounted for seven of the runs.
The Gorillas’ offense was highly efficient, scoring 11 runs on 11 hits and standing only five baserunners. The scoring of the Gorillas was just adding insult to injury, though, as Shelburn fanned nine batters, walked three and allowed two hits in the seven-inning game. She earned the decision over Newman’s Molly Hein to bring her season record to 2-0.
PSU heads to Joplin on Saturday, March 9, for the two-day MSSU Border Battle and take on Upper Iowa University in the first game at noon.