Shelbourn lifts Gorillas to victory

Trent Johnson | reporter

The Pittsburg State softball team (22-20, 10-12 MIAA) earned a split against MIAA foe Missouri Southern State University (22-22, 9-13 MIAA) on Tuesday, April 16, at the Pittsburg State Softball Complex.
The Gorillas’ Kyndel Shelburn (8-7) paced the team to a victory in the first game. Shelburn threw a complete game for the Gorillas, allowing just one unearned run, one hit and striking out six.
The Gorillas got on the scoreboard early in the first inning on an unearned run of their own as Kreslee Ketcham reached on an error to score Brenna George from second base.
The Lions tied the game in the third inning, scoring their lone run on a bases loaded walk by Shelburn. Shelburn struck out the next batter to end the inning to keep the scored tied, 1-1.
Pittsburg State answered quickly in the bottom half of the third inning. Samantha Grove hit a two-RBI single, which turned out to be the game winning hit for the Gorillas.
After a scoreless top of the fourth for the Lions, the Gorillas tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 5-1. Shelburn cruised through the final three innings to secure the victory, 5-1, for the Gorillas.
Game two saw a slugfest between the two rivals with Missouri Southern coming out on top. The Gorillas lit up the scoreboard first, when George crossed home plate off a Ketcham sacrifice fly.
The Gorillas held on to the lead, 1-0, until the top of the third inning.
Then, the Lions got a sacrifice fly of their own off the bat of Dawn Grass, scoring Brooke Swadley. Pittsburg State quickly got the run back after Katelyn Birchfield was walked with the bases loaded giving the Gorillas an advantage, 2-1.
The Gorillas added to the lead in the fifth inning when Ketcham hit a two-run homerun to right field.
Missouri Southern put together their big inning in the top of the sixth, trailing 5-1. The Lions pounded out seven runs on eight hits in the sixth to take the lead, 8-4.
Pittsburg State answered with one run in the bottom of the sixth on a Kayla Sears solo home run. The Lions went scoreless in the seventh.
Trailing 8-5 heading into their final at bat, the Gorillas put together a rally to send the game to extra innings.
Sears singled to score two runs after Tiffany Brown had already scored on a wild pitch. In the eighth, the Lions scored three runs off of a K Goins double to deep left center field.
The Gorillas were out of clutch hits in the final inning, going down in order. Sarah Williams (6-6) of the Lions notched the win, Shelburn (8-8) took the loss for Pittsburg State. Sears went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s for the Gorillas.

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The Gorillas’ next action will be at home this Saturday, April 20, as they welcome the Lincoln Blue Tigers to the PSU Softball Complex.

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