Above image of Bayleigh Grogan courtesy of the UMHB Athletics Department
CLARKSVILLE, Arkansas- The UMHB softball team nabbed its first series sweep of the season on Saturday afternoon, as Ozarks had no response in the Cru’s dominant 14-1 road victory.
The win capped off a three game set that began with a doubleheader on Friday against the Eagles, and moved the Cru to 10-9 on the season, 4-5 in ASC play. Ozarks dropped to 1-9 on the year and 1-7 in conference action.
UMHB got on the board early in the series finale, with a five-run first inning. 10 batters stepped to the plate for the Cru, as the inning began and ended with center fielder Lexi Harris. Harris and shortstop Milly Cesare opened the contest with consecutive singles to left field, before second baseman Elissa Elliott reached on a failed fielder’s choice that loaded the bases. Izzy Gutierrez seized the RBI opportunity, driving in three runs on a hard-hit double. An error on Ozarks third baseman Riki Haase allowed Gutierrez to reach third on the play, though she did not stay on the base paths for long, and scored on first baseman Tatum Stover’s triple in the following at-bat.
The contest spanned just five innings, as the run rule was invoked after the Cru’s eight-run outburst in the fifth. The inning was highlighted by a three-run home run from Elliott to take a 13-1 advantage, as catcher Tyeann Johnson, Harris and left fielder Bailey Eggleston also added RBI singles in the frame.
Every starter in the lineup for the UMHB had at least one hit, including Eggleston, who went 3-for-3 at the plate. Harris, Cesare, Gutierrez, Elliott and third baseman Elisabeth Paul each had two hits.
Bayleigh Grogan tossed a complete game for the Cru, allowing six hits, two walks and one earned run on a wild pitch in the second inning. The win moved the sophomore to 6-6 on the season, as she has earned a victory in each of her last four starts.
Grogan did not appear tired on Saturday, despite the fact that she fired four innings in game one of the series on Friday afternoon.
The Cru scored at least one run in the first four innings of the series opener, jumping out to a 7-1 lead on a sacrifice flyout from Paul that scored Eggleston in the top of the fourth. Ozarks countered with one run in each of the next four frames, but it was not enough to overcome UMHB’s significant lead.
The Cru earned a 9-5 win, and carried that momentum into a 14-0 rout of the Eagles in game two. The contest spanned just five innings, as UMHB opened the game with a four-run first. Kami Flores threw a complete game for the visitors from Belton, and allowed just three hits in the shutout.
Five days removed from Saturday’s victory, UMHB will return to the field for a three-game series at home against UT-Dallas. The Comets are just 1-13 on the year and 1-8 in ASC play.