Judging by the way softballs have been flying out of the PSU Softball Complex this season, maybe it should be renamed the PSU Home Run Complex or the PSU Longball Complex.

Judging by the way softballs have been flying out of the PSU Softball Complex this season, maybe it should be renamed the PSU Home Run Complex or the PSU Longball Complex.

In the second game of a conference-opening twinbill Saturday afternoon against Northwest Missouri State, Pittsburg State mashers Amanda DeCastro, Tiffany Brown and Kreslee Ketcham smashed back-to-back-to-back home runs with two outs as part of a four-homer inning and Brown walloped a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the sixth for a 15-7 win, finishing a sweep of the Bearcats after a 8-2 win in Game 1.

“We took some batting practice with me pitching yesterday and they all hit like that,” Pitt State head coach Elizabeth Economon said. “We’re getting better every time. They’re more selective finding pitches they like and they’re swinging like they mean it when they do find one.”

Pitt State and Northwest Missouri combined for 13 home runs over two games and so far after 10 home games this season, teams have totaled 30 home runs at the PSU Softball Complex.

The Gorillas slugged out 22 hits and seven home runs during its 15-7 win. After Northwest Missouri took a 1-0 first inning lead, Brenna George led off with a triple and fellow outfielder Cheslyn Mitchell promptly gave Pitt State a 2-1 lead on a long ball to right field.

Northwest Missouri first baseman Kristine Labertew tied it up on a homer to left field but Pitt State pitcher Jessica Barnes settled down and struck out the next two batters (one swinging, one looking) to end the inning.

That’s when the Gorillas began slugging away on the Bearcats pitching — McKenzie Rynard led off with a rocket shot over the center field wall, then Devon McCreath and George stood on first and third for Mitchell after consecutive singles. However, Mitchell hit into a 4-3 double play, scoring McCreath. With two outs, DeCastro, Brown and Ketcham came through with their home runs and Pitt State promptly led 7-2.

Northwest Missouri responded with three runs the next half-inning courtesy a towering three-run home run by former Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association home run leader Kayli Schurman and made it 7-all after two Pitt State errors helped push across two unearned runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, big plays came via DeCastro’s second homer over the conglomerate scoreboard in left field, a RBI single by Kayla Sears and a sacrifice fly by Alex Perez scoring Ketcham. Pitt State took a 10-7 lead and never looked back.

In the next half-inning, Northwest Missouri hit three consecutive grounders to DeCastro and she fielded cleanly and threw out three consecutive runners.

Brown then finished off the festivities with a grand slam off the scoreboard in left field. This home run proved significant in multiple ways — it was a walk-off grand slam, it completed a sweep of Northwest Missouri, Brown reached 10 home runs for the season and Brown passed Schurman, who started the day with eight homers and who ended with nine. Brown started at seven.

DeCastro batted home five runs in Game 1 and three in Game 2; she hit three home runs to run her season total up to seven and she went 7-for-8 on the day with five extra-base hits. Her three-run double cinched an opening-game victory. Hilary Erbert pitched seven innings for the win.

“We talked about this being Day 1 of Season No. 2 and they came out with confidence,” Economon said. “They were relentless hitting.”

Pitt State (13-16, 2-0 MIAA) won its sixth consecutive game and hosts Truman State today for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.

“We always say, ‘Winning fixes almost everything,’” Economon said. “We’ve been finding the right pitching combinations and the hitting has been great. It’s been six good team wins. We’ve stressed a team-first attitude.”

Game One
Pittsburg State 8, Northwest Missouri 2
NWMSU    200 000 0 — 2   6 1
PSU        104 300 X — 8 10 0
Jenna Creger, Paige Blythe (4) and Kylie Cantrell. Hilary Erbert and McKenzie Rynard. WP — Erbert (6-8). LP — Creger (4-6). E — Hailee Hendricks. DP — NWMSU 1. LOB — NWMSU 6; PSU 3. 2B — Cheslyn Mitchell, Amanda DeCastro 2, Riley Campbell. HR — Kristen Uthe; DeCastro, Tiffany Brown, Kreslee Ketcham. SH — Jordan Ereth.

Game Two
Pitt State 15, Northwest Missouri 7 (6 innings)
NWMSU    113 200 —  7  10 0
PSU        250 305 — 15 22 2
Morgan Brunmeier, Paige Blythe (2) and Kayli Schurman. Jessica Barnes, Cheslyn Mitchell (4) and McKenzie Rynard, Kreslee Ketcham (4). WP — Mitchell (3-1). LP — Brunmeier (4-6). E — Riley Campbell, Alex Perez. DP — NWMSU 1; PSU 1. LOB — NWMSU 3; PSU 8. 2B — Hailee Hendricks; Tiffany Brown, Ketcham, Rynard. 3B — Brenna George. HR — Schurman, Kristine Labertew; Brown 2, DeCastro 2, Mitchell, Ketcham, Rynard. SF — Perez. SB — Devon McCreath.