Irvin’s Single Drives in Game Winning Run to Advance Pirates
JACKSON, Tenn. - Southwestern was slow to start in game one of the SCAC Conference Tournament on Friday but pulled out the win thanks in large part to a two-out single to right field by pinch hitter Kayla Irvin (pictured).
To open the second inning Southwestern's Haley Hughes reached on an error by Rhodes' first base and Karen Ramirez did her job to advance the runner with a sacrifice bunt. With pinch runner Linsay Biggers in scoring position Ashleigh Scott took a pitch on the outside of the plate to right field, giving the Pirates opportunity to score first. Head Coach Angela Froboese was sending Biggers all the way but a great throw by the Rhodes' right fielder Allycia Kleine gunned down Biggers a step from the plate to keep the game scoreless.
The Lynx were aggressive offensively and able to get runners in scoring position, advancing a runner to third base in the first and second base in the third but SU's defense was able to get out of the jam both times.
At the bottom of the fifth Southwestern finally broke the stalemate. With two outs Taylor Turpin reached on an infield single and stole second to move into scoring position. Amanda Ambrose earned a walk to bring up Kaitlyn Pavlicek. KP sent the ball to left field and with Turpin turning on the afterburners the Lynx had no chance to make a play at the plate to put the Pirates up 1-0 with two innings to go.
With one swing Rhodes tied the game again in the top of the sixth, using a solo shot to left field from Jessica Brown with two outs to tie the game 1-1.
Once again with two outs the Pirates got their magic back. Ramirez led off with a single and Scott moved her to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a ground out to third base by Galloway, Kady Freshour grounded to short and Rhodes decided to make a play on Ramirez at second instead of going for the force at first, allowing the inning to continue. Pinch hitter Kayla Irvin stepped to the plate with confidence and after fouling off four pitches and working to a full count delivered a shot to right field. With Ramirez running hard on the pitch there was no chance for the Lynx to get her out at the plate, allowing SU to take a 2-1 lead into the final frame.
Zomer led off the seventh with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice by Kleine and moved to third on a passed ball but Lyndsy Maus took matters in her own hands and struck out the final batter to secure the win.
Six different players recorded one hit in the game for Southwestern. Maus improves to 16-9 on the season allowing just one run on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
SU improves to 24-16 on the year and advance to face #1 seed Birmingham Southern at 4pm. The winner of that game advances to the SCAC semi-final game.