DURANT, Okla. — The Pittsburg State University softball team closed out the Southeastern Oklahoma Invitational strong by winning a pair of games on Sunday over East Central 6-5 and Southeastern Oklahoma State 2-1.
GORILLAS HANG ON TO BEAT TIGERS
A late rally by the Tigers came up short in the first game of the day, as the Gorillas held on to win by one.
Trailing by five in the sixth inning, Southeastern narrowed the margin to one after scoring three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, but couldn’t push across the tying run to extend the game.
The Gorillas drew first blood in the second inning a solo home run by Kaity Kukowski before the Tigers tied it up in the third on an RBI single.
PSU regained the lead in the bottom half of the third on an RBI single through the right side of the infield by Lawren McKinney before pushing the lead to 3-1 in the fourth thanks to a solo home run off the bat of Kristen Van Hoosen.
A three-run shot by Kala Holder in the fifth gave the Gorillas their largest lead of the day, but the Tigers got all three runs back in the sixth following three consecutive solo home runs.
Brittany Beaudet came out of the pen in the sixth and stopped the bleeding with back-to-back strikeouts before recording the first two outs of the seventh with PSU holding a two-run lead.
A solo home run for the Tigers to begin the seventh cut the deficit in half, but Beaudet bounced back with a trio of strikeouts to earn the save.
Daniela Garzon drove in a team-high two runs on one hit, while Van Hoosen notched one RBI on two hits with two runs scored.
The win went to Bree Cornett in the circle, allowing four runs on seven hits with one strikeout through five innings of work.
GORILLAS EDGE SAVAGE STORM IN EXTRAS
Pitt State rounded out the day with a one-run victory over Southeastern State in extra innings to improve to 3-3 on the young season.
The Gorillas gained some offensive momentum after being held scoreless through the first five innings, as Chloe Holman reached first base on an error and moved up to third on a double down the left-field line by Kukowski.
With runners on the corners and one out, a dropped ball in the outfield allowed Holman to cross the plate to tie the game at 1-1.
Pitt State went on to take the lead in the eighth, scoring the go-ahead run on a single down the right-field line.
Brooklynne Simbeck recorded the first two outs for the Gorillas in the circle to begin the bottom of the eighth before handing the ball over to Beaudet, who finished off the inning to pick up the save.
Kukowski and Holder were the offensive catalysts in the win, each going 2-for-4 at the plate.
Simbeck was awarded the win, allowing one run on nine hits with seven strikeouts through 7.1 innings of work.
The Gorillas will travel to Fort Lauderdale Fla. for a three-game set starting with a match up against Lynn at 11 a.m. on Friday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.