Viking Softball Picks Up Two Wins Against Evangel

Posted April 21, 2017

Game 1 Box Score-Click Here

Game 2 Box Score-Click Here


Marshall, Mo. (April 21, 2017)- The Missouri Valley College softball team hosted Evangel (Mo.) University Friday afternoon in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader at Indian Foothills Park.  The Vikings fell into an early deficit in game one, but came back for a 5-4 win.  Missouri Valley needed just one hit to earn a 4-0 victory in game two, and sweep the doubleheader.


Evangel took early control of the opener, putting two runners on base with back-to-back singles in the top of the first.  Those runners were brought home on a three-run homer, and the Crusaders held a 3-0 lead.  Evangel put two more on base, but Freshman Pitcher Dana Flanagan (Canton, Mo.) got out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.   Missouri Valley threatened in the bottom half of the inning as Junior Third Baseman Autumn Hughes (Savannah, Mo.) walked, followed by singles from Senior Second Baseman Kaya Naiwi (Nanakuli, Hawaii) and Junior Rightfielder Kaila DeWitt (San Diego, Calif.) to load the bases with one out.  However, the Vikings were unable to bring a run home, and stranded all three runners.  Flanagan worked around a lead-off single in the second inning to take the next three EU batters down in order.  Junior Centerfielder Jessica Townsend (Dekalb, Ill.) started a rally in the bottom of the inning with a one-out single.  Junior First Baseman Mackenzie Bilger (Boise, Idaho) brought Townsend home with a two-run homerun, cutting the MVC deficit to 3-2.  Hughes then followed with a double, and Naiwi came through with another two-run homer to give Missouri Valley a 4-3 lead.  After a scoreless third inning, Evangel threatened in the fourth, putting two runners on base, but Flanagan got out of the jam with a fly-out to end the threat.  The Vikings added another run to their score, as Naiwi singled to bring home Senior Shortstop Courtney Carl (Burlington, Iowa) to give MVC a 5-3 advantage.  Both teams failed to change the score line in the fifth, then Flanagan stranded one baserunner in the top of the sixth.  Missouri Valley looked to increase its lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Townsend opened the at-bat with a single, but she was left on base.  Evangel put pressure on Missouri Valley in the seventh, opening the inning with triple.  The runner was brought home on a single, and the Viking lead shrunk to one run.  Senior Pitcher Bethany Chamblee (Sardis City, Ala.) induced the next three batters to groundout to second base, allowing Missouri Valley to earn a 5-4 victory.


Naiwi led the team with three hits, a two-run homer, three RBI’s and a run scored.  Bilger had two hits, a two-run homerun, two RBI’s and one RBI.  Townsend also added two hits and a run scored.  Flanagan got the win, pitching into the seventh inning, giving up 11 hits and four earned runs with two strikeouts.  Chamblee earned the save pitching the seventh.


Game two opened with Evangel threatening in the first inning, putting two runners on base with a pair of singles, but Sophomore Mackenzie Hombs (Huntsville, Mo.) got out of the jam without giving up a run.  Missouri Valley put a runner on base in the bottom half of the inning, as Hughes reached on an error, but the Vikings were unable to break the scoreless tie.  After Hombs kept Evangel from scoring in the second inning, MVC came back with some production in the bottom half of the inning.  Freshman Leftfielder Madison Finley (Papillion, Neb.) reached safely on an error, then Freshman Designated Player Sara Jones (Palmdale, Calif.) reached on an error.  Both were moved into scoring position with a sac-bunt, and Finley scored on a wild pitch.  Jones then came home on a Crusader error that allowed Townsend to reach safely, and MVC opened up a 2-0 lead.  Evangel came back in the third with a pair of singles, but Naiwi fielded a grounder in the hole at second and came up with the third out to end the threat.  Both teams struggled to produce from the plate until the bottom of the fifth.  After Evangel worked a double-play, the Vikings put together a rally.  Junior Sabrina George (Tracy, Calif.) extended the inning after a dropped third strike.  Bilger put a single into left-center, but an error on the play allowed George to score from first and Bilger to reach third.  A wild pitch during the Hughes at-bat brought home Bilger, and the Vikings held a 4-0 lead.  The Crusaders got a runner on base in the sixth, and tried to put a run on the board.  The Crusaders got a two-out single into right, but DeWitt threw out a baserunner at home to end the inning and keep EU scoreless.  After Missouri Valley was taken down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Evangel tried to start a rally in the seventh.  The Crusaders put their first two batters on base with singles, then moved those runners into scoring position with one out.  Hombs induced a grounder to first to secure the second out, then finished off the game with a groundout back to the mound to give the Vikings a 4-0 victory.


Missouri Valley produced just one hit in the game, coming from Bilger, who also scored one run.  The Vikings took advantage of five EU errors.  Hombs pitched her first complete game shutout, giving up nine hits.


The pair of wins move Missouri Valley to 25-19 overall and 15-15 in the Heart.  Evangel falls to 27-15 on the season and 21-9 in conference play.


Up next, the Viking softball team goes to Baker (Kan.) University for a Heart doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m., in Baldwin City, Kan.  Missouri Valley split a home doubleheader with the Wildcats back on March 20.




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 30 academic programs, study abroad program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, criminal justice and exercise science. Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit


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