DURANT, Okla. — The Pittsburg State softball team split a pair of Sunday matchups in the Southeastern Oklahoma Classic, notching the first loss of the season 1-0 against Rockhurst before picking up a win against Southeastern Oklahoma, 4-3.
After suffering the first loss of the season earlier in the day, the Gorillas hit the ground running in the game two, scoring all four runs in the opening frame against Southeastern Oklahoma in the 4-3 win.
PSU’s big first inning began with a leadoff walk drawn by Kaity Kukowski, who took second in the next at-bat as Shelby Miller beat out a bunt to reach first safely.
With two on and no outs, Katy Remy drew a walk to load the bases.
Nicole Nease came through in the fifth at-bat of the inning with a two-run single up the middle to put the Gorillas up 2-0.
Lawren McKinney kept the line moving with an RBI single to left field, and Tiara Ewy drove in the fourth run of the inning with a single to right field.
The Savage Storm got one run back in the bottom of the second inning via an RBI double ripped down the right-field line.
Southeastern Oklahoma continued to chip away at the deficit, plating two more runs in the fourth inning to come to within 4-3.
After a leadoff double into the right-center gap, Morgan Myers handed the ball over to Bree Cornett out of the bullpen.
Cornett struck out the first batter she faced, but a wild pitch sent the runner on first base to second.
Following a second strikeout, a single to leftfield drove in the runner on second.
In the next at-bat a double into the left-center field gap allowed the runner to go from first to home.
As the Gorillas were struggling to get the bats going in since the first inning, the Savage Storm were threatening to tie the game in the sixth.
Southeastern Oklahoma had a runner in scoring position with no outs after a single and a wild pitch, but Emmie Robertson got the call out of the bullpen and worked out of the danger in the sixth and struck out the side in the seventh to earn the save.
Nease was the offensive leader, driving in two runs, recorded one hit and one run scored.
Miller was also seeing the ball well, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The win went to Cornett, who notched four strikeouts with one earned run in two innings of work.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the 1-0 loss against Rockhurst.
The Gorillas got their first runner in scoring position in the fifth inning, after Kristen Van Hoosen drew a walk and advanced to second after Kukowski was hit by a pitch.
The Hawks quickly escaped the danger with a groundout to end the inning, before going on to take the lead 1-0 in the bottom half of the frame.
After a pair of singles and a walk, the Hawks scored the game’s only run with a productive groundout before the Gorillas were able to end the inning with a strikeout.
The Gorillas got another runner in scoring position in the seventh, as McKinney drew a walk a Van Hoosen singled to right field, but the Hawks struck out the next batter to record the final out and win the game.
Kukowski, Van Hoosen and Kala Holder all had one hit apiece, combining for the three Pitt State base hits.
Robertson was on the hook for the hard-luck loss, striking out eight batters with one earned run through six innings.
PSU will be in Bentonville, Arkansas, taking on Henderson State at 11 a.m. on Friday to being the Arkansas-Monticello Challenge.
-- Jordan Buckamneer is a sports reporter of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @jbuckamneer.