Portsmouth, Ohio – Shawnee State softball swept their way into fourth place in the Mid-South Conference on Wednesday afternoon, defeating Pikeville 4-0 in game one and 0-0 in game two.
Shawnee State were the beneficiaries of five Pikeville errors in game one, with three of them leading to two runs in the bottom of the first. After Katlyn Gleich (SO/Grove City, Ohio) walked, Marisa Brown (SO/Liberty Township, Ohio) would hit a single to right-center field, which was bobbled by UPike right fielder Destiny Molden, allowing Brown to reach second and Gleich to score. Kayla Koch (JR/Lucasville, Ohio) would move Brown to third on a groundout, and Tara Duncan (SR/Lancaster, Ohio) would hit a pop-up dropped by Pikeville catcher Jill Bohnert. Duncan and Brown would then attempt a delayed double steal, and after receiving a throw from Bohnert, Hannah Absher's throw would be high and wide back home to allow Brown to score.
Shawnee State would pick up single insurance runs in the fourth and sixth. Duncan would get to first with one out when Kitty Raymond misplayed a grounder that rolled into left field. Katie Wolsefer (FR/Franklin, Ohio) would then reach base on a misplayed grounder by Absher to extend the inning. Haley Rawlins (FR/South Point, Ohio) and Megan Shupert (SO/West Portsmouth, Ohio) would get back-to-back walks to drive in Duncan and pick up SSU's third run of the game.
The Bears would score their first earned run in the bottom of the sixth. Mackenzie Riley (SO/Proctorville, Ohio) and Katie Wolsefer would hit back-to-back singles, Haley Rawlins would walk, and pinch hitter Miranda Melvin (SR/Oak Hill, Ohio) would ground out to third to score Riley to make the score 4-0.
The story of the game for Shawnee State was starting pitcher Brooke Blevins (FR/Frankfort, Ohio), who would throw a complete game shutout. Blevins would throw seven innings, allowing only three hits and striking out four to earn the win. Pikeville's Alexandra Quill would go six innings, allowing four runs on three hits, with only one earned run charged to her.
Game two would be a pitcher's duel as Mckenzie Whittaker and Hannah Skaggs would stifle the offenses through five and a half innings. Shawnee State would finally break through in the bottom of the sixth. Haley Rawlins would lead off the inning with a single, and be replaced by pinch runner Madi Phillips (SO/Portsmouth, Ohio), who would steal second. After Megan Shupert struck out, Ashtyn Saunders (FR/Lancaster, Ohio) would move Phillips to third with a bunt, being beat by half a step by the throw. Kaitlyn Gleich would then walk, and with runners on the corners, Marisa Brown would hit a flare to center that would drop just out of the reach of Pikeville center fielder Lee Griffin, allowing Phillips to score and Gleich to reach third. Kara Koch would drive in Gleich with a single in the next at bat, and Shawnee State wou;ld work around a one-out single to claim the win.
Mckenzie Whittaker would again make pitching the story of the game for Shawnee State, throwing a complete game shutout by allowing no runs on six hits to get the win. Hannah Skaggs allowed two runs on three hits and struck out five in the loss.
The wins improve Shawnee State's record to 17-16, and the Bears are now 8-12 in the Mid-South Conference. Pikeville fall to 15-25 and are 6-14 in the league. The wins break a tie for fourth place in the Mid-South as Shawnee State claim sole possession of the fourth spot, and now own the tiebreaker over Pikeville and Cumberlands (Ky.) for the fourth place position.
Shawnee State are back in action this coming weekend, when they travel to Lebanon, Tennessee to take on Mid-South Conference foe Cumberland (Tenn.) in a four game set. First pitch for Friday's doubleheader is scheduled for 3:00pm.