MARYVILLE, Mo. — Late in the second game of a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association doubleheader Friday, Pittsburg State senior Tiffany Brown not only tied up the game at 7-all but she tied both the single-season (17) and career (46) home run records held by former teammate Amanda DeCastro.
Pitt State trailed 7-5 entering the seventh and with one down, Cheslyn Mitchell singled up the middle, bringing up the dangerous Brown, who's blasted 17 homers in 30 games played. Brown delivered a tie score and tied records.
Unfortunately, it went for naught in the bottom of the seventh, hero status going to Northwest Missouri's Stephanie Mark, whose only hit in Game 2 in four plate appearances turned out to be a walk-off solo home run.
Northwest Missouri earned the sweep, 9-5 and 8-7, giving the Gorillas their fifth straight loss and 15-15 overall record.
The first game started out ugly for the Gorillas — in fact, this sports writer jotted down in his notes, "Just another awful game for the Gorillas," after their 9-1 loss to No. 10-ranked Missouri-St. Louis on Wednesday — and the Bearcats produced an eight-run second inning.
The first four runs of the second forced out Pitt State starter Samantha Grove and the big hits included a Chantel Adams two-run single, a Jordan Ereth RBI single and an Anastaszia Roseberry three-run double.
The Gorillas began turning it around offensively in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings against Northwest Missouri starter Abbie Vitosh.
Pitt State plated three in the fourth, sparked by a McKenzie Rynard solo home run. Nicole Nease doubled and Alex Perez single, Nease and Perez coming around to score on Jordan Bradshaw's two-out single, a big hit the Gorillas desperately needed.
Kylie Guthier hit a solo homer in the fifth and Brenna George's RBI single closed out the scoring in the sixth.
Northwest Missouri went scoreless its last four times at-bat but the damage was already done after that eight-run rampage in the second.
In the second game, Pitt State once again fell behind early, 2-0 on a Torri Blythe RBI single and an Adams RBI double.
The Gorillas did not wait as long to wake up this time, knotting it up with two in the third. Brown plated George for the first run and Rynard doubled home Brown.
Northwest Missouri went ahead in the fourth with a Madison Jones solo blast.
The Gorillas answered right back in the next half inning with three runs on three hits, including a Mitchell RBI single and a Nease two-run double.
Down 5-3, Northwest Missouri came through with a Roseberry grand slam in the sixth and in fact, the Bearcats scored their last six runs via homers — Jones' solo, Roseberry's grand slam and Mark's walk-off.
The Gorillas, who so often bludgeon opponents with home runs, were undone by them Friday.
Pitt State (15-15, 2-6 MIAA) returns to action Saturday with a doubleheader against Missouri Western. The Griffons feature senior pitcher Jackie Bishop, who MIAA teams sometimes must feel has been pitching for 20 years against them.
BEARCATS 9, GORILLAS 5
PSU000 311 0 — 5 9 1
NW180 000 X — 9 10 1
Samantha Grove, Kylie Harpst (2) and Nicole Nease. Abbie Vitosh and Anastaszia Roseberry. WP: Vitosh (4-7). LP: Grove (8-6). E: Bailey Letts; Chantel Adams. HR: McKenzie Rynard, Kylie Guthier. 2B: Nease, Alex Perez; Kristen Uthe, Baylee Scarbrough, Roseberry. SH: Jordan Ereth, Roseberry. LOB: PSU 6, NW 9. A: 50.
BEARCATS 8, GORILLAS 7
PSU002 030 2 — 7 9 0
NW200 104 1 — 8 10 1
Haleigh Sills, Kylie Harpst (6) and Nicole Nease. Sarah Baldwin and Anastaszia Roseberry. WP: Baldwin. LP: Harpst. E: Chantel Adams. GS: Roseberry. HR: Tiffany Brown; Stephanie Mark, Madison Jones. SH: Brenna George. LOB: PSU 4, NW 3. A: 50.