Softball posts 3-1 record over the weekend

Story by Bailey Conklin, Sports Editor

The Baker softball team posted a 3-1 record over the weekend at home against conference opponents Evangel and MidAmerica Nazarene.

The Wildcats first faced Evangel on Friday, defeating the Crusaders 7-3 in game one and falling 7-0 in the second game. On Saturday, Baker raced Heart rival MNU, defeating the Pioneers 6-2 and 4-3.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Wildcats were able to bring home a victory in game one with the help of sophomore Olivia Brees pitching all seven innings. Brees had 11 strikeouts in the game.

On the offensive side, freshman Madison Allen had a team high three hits and two runs. Sophomore Caitlin Hardgrove and freshman Jazzmine Thorpe provided two hits and one run each for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats relied on a big sixth inning to defeat the Crusaders. Freshmen Riley Swickard, Jazzmine Thorpe and Hannah Flynn each scored a run in the sixth inning along with sophomore Hannah Tolliver.

In game two against the Crusaders, Evangel had an offensive explosion leading to three runs in both the third and the fourth innings, followed by one run in the fifth inning.

Four Wildcats earned hits against Evangel pitcher Kyra Parker, but Baker wasn’t able to capitalize and score. Tolliver, Allen, Cardona, and Staats each contributed one hit.

Junior Teagan Louthan started on the mound for the Wildcats, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing six hits. Louthan was replaced by senior Antionette Zamudio, who pitched one inning, allowing two hits. Junior Madison Nedved finished out the game, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing two hits.

After splitting with Evangel, Baker prepared to play MNU the following day on March 18.

In game one against the Pioneers, Hardgrove assisted the ‘Cats victory with a game-high three RBI. Freshman Brittany Pagan had two runs, while junior Savannah Bellem, junior Kira Eddy, Swickard, and Thorpe each supplied one run.

Brees pitched all seven innings for the Wildcats, earning 11 strikeouts and allowing six hits.

The Wildcats had another big sixth inning with four runs against MNU. Baker held off the Pioneers in the top of the seventh inning and captured game one with a 6-2 victory.

In game two, the Pioneers took an early lead with two runs in the first inning and one run in the fourth. Baker fought back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Tolliver, Eddy, Flynn, and Cardona each had one run for the Wildcats. Staats had a team high two RBI to help propel Baker to defeat MNU 4-3.

The Baker softball team split a doubleheader against Benedictine, its first conference opponent of the season, on March 12. Baker defeated the Ravens 6-4 in game one and fell to them 6-4 in the second game.

After the team’s spring break games against conference opponents, the Wildcats are 4-2 in conference play and 11-3 overall.

The Wildcats will now travel to Marshall, Missouri, to face Missouri Valley College for a doubleheader on March 20 starting at 1 p.m.