Chadron State College pitchers Jessica Jarecki and Megan Horncombined for 16 strikeouts, holding Regis University to a .232 batting average, but the Rangers won both games of a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference softball doubleheader on Sunday, 3-0 and 3-2, at CSC Softball Field.
In game one, neither the Rangers or the Eagles scored for five and one-third innings, until Regis unleashed with five hits in the top of the sixth, aided by an outfield error, to plate the only three runs of the game.
The Eagles were outscored, but not outdone in the field. Aspen Eubanks came up with a home run saving leap deep in right field, in the fourth inning, and catcher Leilani Niccum was responsible for an unassisted rundown play that earned a putout against the Rangers’ only baserunner in the top of the seventh.
CSC recorded two errors in the game, but neither were directly responsible for a run. Jessica Jarecki took the loss to fall to 3-8 incurring three earned runs, while Regis’s ace, Logan Losh, improved to 7-4 with the complete game 3-0 shutout.
Chadron State loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, but was unable to take complete control of Losh in the final frame.
The latter half of the doubleheader was an intense, eight-inning nailbiter, decided by an unearned run in the top of the final inning.
The Rangers finally tied it up again in the sixth, getting two singles and the aid of an outfield error to knot the game at 1-1.
Both teams scored in the seventh. Regis’s Lauren Hernandez homered in the top of the inning, and the Eagles’ Ellie Owens and Moody each doubled to plate one run in the bottom, before CSC left winning runners on second and third.
In the eighth, CSC pitcher Megan Horn walked two, and hit one batter, forcing Tori Brown, who had reached base on error, home.
The Eagles once again finished with a runner in scoring position, with Michel’s leadoff single followed by a sac bunt from Eubanks. However, they fell just shy of a comeback, falling 3-2. Horn went to 2-5 for the year, while winning pitcher Taylor Armitage improved to 6-4.
Michel went 3-for-7 for the day, while Moody was 2-for-5. Michel and Niccum had the only RBI for the Eagles.
Horn improved her strikeout total for the season by a whopping 33 percent, fanning 12 batters to move to 48 punchouts in 2018. She began the week ranking 33rd nationally in total strikeouts. As of end-of-day Sunday, she is fifth in the league, while Jarecki leads outright with 78.
Tomorrow continues the series between the squads, with an expected first pitch of 11 a.m.