Megan Brownell photojournalist
Gorilla softball started home play in a triangular against Wayne State University and Drury University on Feb. 18 and 19. They won all four games to go undefeated on the weekend thanks to a huge spark in the offense and four run-rules to improve their overall record to 7-6. Freshman infielder Heather Arnett looks back at the weekend and what all was going to take home the four wins in front of the home crowd.
“Our pitchers pitched great again this weekend and our bats really came alive in these games,” Arnett said. “It feels great to go undefeated this weekend, especially in front of our home crowd.”
Game one was first against Wayne State, and PSU took that one 9-1 in six innings. The Gorillas took an early lead scoring three each in the first two innings to start 6-0. Wayne State scored their first run in the fifth inning, but then Pitt State scored three more runs in the sixth inning to run-rule Wayne State. Head coach Jenny Fuller felt good about her team’s offense after the performance especially after focusing on it in practice the past week.
“We had been adjusting our practice to work on executing on offense and with runners on base, so it felt really good to accomplish that goal after working on it all week,” Fuller said.
They next played Drury, and again after a good offensive put out they won 10-2 to run-rule for the second time on the day. They started off the game the same as the first, scoring three runs in the first inning and then five runs in the second inning to start with an 8-0 lead. Drury answered in the third inning with two of their own runs to cut the lead to 8-2. Pitt kept their momentum and scored one run in the fourth, and then one more in the sixth inning to force the run-rule after six. Arnett enjoyed the games especially with going undefeated, and how well the offense did.
“All four games this weekend were fun, we had a lot of home runs, we executed with runs on base, we turned double plays on offense, and just did a lot of little things,” Arnett said.
Day two of the triangular they took on Wayne State for the second time, forcing another run-rule with a 12-1 win. They took their big lead early, scoring four runs, then five runs, and finally three runs in the first three innings of the game. Wayne State scored one run in the top of the fifth to get on the board, but after the end of the inning the game was run-ruled. Fuller was pleased with the offense in this game as well, after waiting for them to get going.
“We have been waiting for our offense to explode and do their thing, and they accomplished that and can carry that confidence forward,” Fuller said.
They then faced Drury again, and won 11-2 after their fourth run-rule of the weekend. They started off with just one run in the first inning, and then took three more in the third inning for a 4-0 start. Drury scored one in the fourth inning to cut the lead, but a five run inning in the bottom of the fourth from a grand slam from junior utility player Paxtyn Hays and a double from Kylee Bohle to bring in Gabby Schultz to extend their lead. Drury scored one more in the fifth, but two more runs from the Gorillas in the sixth inning was enough to push the run-rule and win. Fuller was happy to see her team run-rule in all four games.
“Anytime you can run-rule someone is amazing, as your pitcher doesn’t have to pitch as many innings,” Fuller said.
Hays was also awarded the MIAA hitter of the week after hitting a .692 of two doubles and four home runs, with a 19 RBI.
They will play next at the Washburn Invitational Tournament Feb 24-26 in Topeka, KS to play five games against other division two schools.