Chadron State College softball went 1-1 on the second day of play in its series with Colorado State University-Pueblo to finish the four games with two wins and two losses. CSC is now 11-15 (8-7 RMAC) while the ThunderWolves sit at 11-13 (8-8 RMAC).
Just as on Saturday, the Eagles lost the early contest and won in the late game. Also echoing Saturday’s performance, pitcher Kinsley Mason earned the win – her fourth of the season – in the bottom of the doubleheader.
Another similarity between the two pairs of games was more sobering. The Eagles led by multiple runs entering the seventh innings of both days’ opening contests, and lost by two in each.
Sunday’s morning opener saw the ThunderWolves jump up 3-0 before the Eagles plated five in the bottom of the second. A shortstop throwing error took the Pueblo first baseman off the bag with two outs, allowing CSC’s Courtney Lecher to reach base and Aspen Eubanks to score, putting the Eagles on the board. That play opened up a new inning for CSC with the heart of the order slapping three base hits and a walk to put four more runs across. After reaching base safely, Lecher also stole second allowing Ellie Owens to run herself out of a pickle and find home plate.
Errors were a big factor for both sides, as only seven earned runs crossed versus 11 unearned. Headed into the seventh leading 8-4, the Eagles needed three outs to put away the game. Dallas Magnusson entered in relief of starting pitcher Jessica Jarecki, who had delivered 45 pitches in the first inning alone, but gave up a three-run homer to CSUP’s then-retired starting pitcher K’lee Kent, hitting as a designated player. Still ahead by one, Chadron State got two outs but then suffered errors on two consecutive plays which extended the inning just far enough to give the ThunderWolves the 10-8 victory.
After the early affair lasted nearly three hours, the Eagles wasted no time gaining a 5-0 advantage in the second game. The top four in the order loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, and then Kayla Michel walked to open up the 5-0 run. Zoe Humphries struck again with an RBI single, and the lefty Eubanks went for two RBI on a shot down the right field line. Taylor Bauer finished the onslaught with a sac fly as the Eagles batted their full lineup.
The third inning saw Eubanks homer for the third time on the weekend, but the ThunderWolves showed tenacity, clawing back to 6-5 through five innings.
The game’s only error was committed by CSU-Pueblo in the sixth, and Lecher capitalized after working her way to third on a pair of sacrifice hits by Sheyann Ludwig and Linsdey Karlin. Eubanks recorded her eighth RBI of the weekend on a single through the left side, and the Eagles were back on top 8-5.
There would be no repeat of the seventh-inning heroics shown by Pueblo in two other games this weekend. They only managed a single score in their final at-bat and the Eagles prevailed 8-6.
Eubanks was the leader for the Eagles in the batter’s box. She finished the weekend 6-of-13 with three home runs, a double, and a walk. Karlin and Humphries were both 4-of-10 in the series, with Karlin securing base on a team-high three walks, and Humphries gathering a second-best four RBI.
Kinsley Mason went 2-0 on the weekend, while Jarecki and Magnusson were each charged with a loss. True freshman Megan Horn picked up her first save of the year, entering in the beginning of the sixth inning of Sunday’s second game, up 6-5.
Black Hills State visits Chadron next weekend. The Yellow Jackets will come on the heels of nine straight losses, including a four game sweep by CSU-Pueblo. They scored a total of 14 runs in the nine games combined.