ST. LOUIS, MO. — Even though some aspects of their game have taken a dive in recent weeks, one thing that hasn’t suffered for the University of Missouri-St. Louis women’s softball team is its home run stroke.
And on Friday, the Tritons were back at it again, with two more longballs in doubleheader against the University of Central Missouri, that helped UMSL salvage a split in the team’s annual non-conference matchup.
The Tritons lost Game 1 to the Jennies 5-4, but came back blasting to win Game 2 7-4.
As it turned out, UMSL was actually only one unfortunate misplay away from winning both games.
Game 2 was a breeze, as the Tritons jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to roundtrippers by freshmen Katie Wood and Madison Zbaraschuk.
Wood’s blast — a solo shot that gave UMSL a 1-0 lead — was her sixth of the season and tied her with fellow freshman Brianna Butler for the team lead this year.
Zbaraschuk’s clout was a three-run shot that gave her five homers this season, and brought the UMSL team total for the year up to 31 in 32 games.
The UMSL team record for home runs is 59, which was set in 2010.
From that point on, the Tritons cruised past the Jennies, adding two more runs in the second inning, and another in the fourth, before finally putting the visitors away for good in the seventh.
In Game 1, UMSL led 4-2 heading into the final inning, and had two outs in the inning, before fate stepped in and ruined what seemed like a sure win.
UCM had managed to get two runners on, even though there were two outs, with leadoff hitter Karissa Williams coming to the plate.
On a 2-2 pitch, she bounced a tough groundball towards UMSL shortstop Haleigh Jenkins, who misfired on a throw to first, which allowe both runners to score to tie the game.
Then UCM’s Braylyn Bivens ripped a triple to right field that scored Williams with what proved to be the winning run off UMSL junior Leslie Davis (5-8).
UCM reliever Katie Shockley (3-2) got the win.
The Game 2 winner for UMSL was senior Stephanie Benson (5-4), who pitched a complete game for the Tritons to get the win.
The one win and one loss moves UMSL’s record to 15-17 this season, as the team heads into a huge GLVC doubleheader on Saturday against rival Drury University.
UMSL SOFTBALL – DOUBLEHEADER PREVIEW
Drury Panthers (20-11) vs. UMSL Tritons (15-17)
Saturday, March 31, 2012 – Noon – UMSL Softball Field
DRURY — RHP Kelsea Garthoff (11-3) 1.86 ERA, 90.1 IP, 54 Ks, 28 BB.
RHP Monica Villareal (8-6) 1.88 ERA, 93.1 IP, 85 Ks, 14 BB.
UMSL — RHP Stephanie Benson (5-4) 2.99 ERA, 70.1 IP, 46 Ks, 17 BB.
RHP Leslie Davis (5-8) 2.96 ERA, 62.0 IP, 44 Ks, 26 BB.
Drury Panthers UMSL Tritons
7 Marissa Valdez – 2B 3 Erin Driskell – LF
16 Betsey Toalson – LF 7 Katie Wood – 2B
1 Carissa Price – DH 11 Haleigh Jenkins – SS
3 Kaitlyn Bowles – C 27 Leslie Davis – DP/P
27 Stacy Razo – CF 9 Brianna Butler – 1B
4 Amber Hayden – 3B 14 Madison Zbaraschuk – C
32 Denise Taylor – 1B 12 Jena Boudreau – RF
2 Erin Romph – SS 2 Shannon Beatty – 3B
9 Regina Norris – RF 5 Monica Strube – CF
UPCOMING UMSL SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
March 31 vs. Drury Noon
April 1 vs. Missouri S&T Noon
April 3 at Maryville 3 pm
April 6 at Missouri S&T Noon
April 7 at Drury Noon
April 14 vs. Rockhurst 2 pm
April 15 vs. William Jewell Noon
April 18 vs. Maryville 3 pm