MVC Softball Knocked Off By Evangel SaturdayPosted April 12, 2014
Marshall, Mo. (April 12, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College softball team hosted Evangel University in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday at Indian Foothills Park. Evangel entered the series in the “others receiving votes” category of the NAIA Softball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Vikings lost game one by an 8-7 score and were defeated in game two 7-3.
Game one started with neither team able to get much going offensively in the first two innings. Evangel left two base runners stranded in each of the first two innings, while MVC left two stranded in the first inning. The Crusaders were able to put runs on the board in the top of the third inning, using five hits to score four runs. MVC got one of those runs back in the bottom of the third inning, using a drop third strike to help manufacture the run. Senior Right Fielder Janelle Garcia (Oxnard, Calif.) reached first on a dropped third strike and later came around to score on an Junior Designated Player Jackie Antuna (Santa Cruz, Calif.) single to center. However, MVC finished the inning with two base runners stranded. The game stayed at 4-1 through the top of the sixth inning when Evangel extended its lead to 6-1, but MVC had its best inning of the game in the bottom half. Antuna led the inning off with a double, then was brought home two batters later when Junior Pinch Hitter Megan Fansher (Independence, Mo.) smacked a double to right field. Later in the inning, Junior Centerfielder Lisa Luna (Anaheim, Calif.) cleared the bases with a three RBI triple to move MVC closer to Evangel at 6-5. The Crusaders came through in the top of the seventh inning and added two insurance runs to move ahead 8-5. Those two runs for Evangel proved to be important as MVC got back-to-back doubles by Senior Catcher Hannah Garczynski (Palm Desert, Calif.) and Freshman Second Baseman Kaya Naiwi (Nanakuli, Hawaii) in the inning, with a Junior Leftfielder Julianna Talacon (La Habra, Calif.) single bringing Naiwi home to close the gap to 8-7. However, MVC could not get the tying run home and fell to the Crusaders.
Leading MVC was Antuna who finished two for three with a run scored and one RBI. Luna was one for four from the plate with three RBI’s while Naiwi finished one for three with one RBI and two runs scored. Junior Starting Pitcher Meslissa Spanton (Sacramento, Calif.) picked up the loss going the complete game with 13 hits, eight earned runs and three stikeouts.
MVC jumped out to an early lead in game two, thanks to three runs in the bottom of the second inning. All three runs were scored with two outs, and the rally started with a Naiwi single followed by a Garczynski walk. Next, Junior Shortstop Cassandra Smith (St. Joseph, Mo.) tripled deep to right-centerfield, clearing the bases. A throwing error allowed Smith to reach home safely, and MVC led 3-0. That’s how the score stayed, until the top of the fifth inning when two errors and six Crusader hits led to six runs scored for Evangel, which put MVC into a 6-3 deficit. Evangel added a run in the top of the sixth inning, but MVC failed to get a runner past second base in the final two innings and fell to Evangel 7-4.
Leading the way for MVC was Naiwi who was two for three from the plate with one run scored. Smith was one for three with two RBI’s and a run scored in the game. Senior Starting Pitcher Ashley Cobern (Cleveland, Mo.) picked up the loss, going 4.2 innings with 10 hits and six runs, three earned.
The losses drop MVC to 2-20 overall and 0-10 in HAAC play. Evangel moves to 23-9 on the season and 8-4 in conference play.
Up next, the Vikings host Central Methodist in a conference doubleheader Tuesday at 4 p.m., at Indian Foothills Park.
About Missouri Valley College
Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 40 academic programs, study abroad program, honors program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, and some new majors are ag-business, nursing, graphic design, and health information systems (associate degree). Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit www.moval.edu.