Oakland City, IN: The Alice Lloyd College Lady Eagles softball team took to the road on Thursday and Friday to play in the NCCAA Mideast Region Softball Tournament, hosted by the top-seed, Oakland City University. The double-elimination format would determine the region representative to the National Tournament.
GAME 1: Alice Lloyd-14; JU-5
JU actually struck first with 1 run in the opening inning (0-1), but ALC quickly responded. Senior Jada Estep (CF) led off with a double, and then junior Alyssa Clark (LF) reached base on an error. Later, freshman Mackenzie Methax (DH) drove both in with a single (2-1). This was just a preview of things to come.
The Caney Creek crew unleashed a vicious onslaught one inning later. 6 singles, 1 double, and 3 errors led to a windfall of 8 huge runs. When the inning finally came to an end, ALC led, 10-1.
The Royals would gain 2 runs back in the fourth (10-3), only to see the Lady Eagles flex their muscle in the bottom half.
During that stanza, 3 singles filled the bases for sophomore Lyndsey Adkins (2B). One crack of her bat promptly cleared them as she belted a massive blast over the left-center field fence (14-3).
JU tied to respond in the fifth, plating two 2 runs. However, they needed much more, as the game ended with the mercy rule.
Estep led the way going 3-4 at the plate, while Adkins, Methax, senior Samantha Sturgill (1B) and junior Abigail Stambaugh (RF) each laced 2 hits. Adkins drove in 5 RBI’s.
Meanwhile, ALC sophomore pitcher Haley Howell went four innings, allowing only 4 hits. Senior Mckenzie Brewer tossed the final inning in relief.
ALC dominated in the hitting battle, 14-7, and played error-free ball.
GAME 2: Alice Lloyd- 8, OCU-9
OCU scored 1 run in both the second and third inning to leap ahead (0-2). They would then look to put the game on ice one inning later.
In the top of the fourth, Oakland City would unleash 6 hits and score 4 runs. Now, they led 0-6, and seemed in complete command of the game.
However, as they have been prone to do all season, the Pippa Passes battlers answered in their next at bat.
First, sophomore Alexis Morris (3B) opened the inning with a homer (1-6). After an out, Clark would single. Then with two outs, Methax cranked another blast. Now the deficit was manageable (3-6).
The Mighty Oaks earned 1 run back in the next inning (3-7), but ALC rode the momentum from the previous inning to rally.
In that inning, the squad used 2 singles and back-to-back doubles from Adkins and Clark to plate 4 runs, and knot the score at 7-7.
To their credit, Oakland City scored 1 run apiece in each of the next two innings, and led 7-9 entering the bottom of the seventh.
Down to their last chance, ALC promptly stroked two straight singles and received a walk to load the bases with 0 outs. Things were looking up.
Then, with one away, Methax smacked a clutch single to score one (8-9) and reload the bases. Now, with a hit needed to tie or win the contest, Cox smashed a hard line-drive that appeared to have single written all over it. Unfortunately, the OCU shortstop made a great catch, then picked off the runner at third to earn a double-play, and end the day.
At the plate, Morris Adkins, Estep, Clark, and Methax all had 2 hits, while Methax provided 3 RBI’s.
On the mound, Cox suffered the loss, allowing 8 hits and 6 runs in 3.2 innings.
The Oaks took the hitting battle 15-13, and each club committed 1 error.
GAME 1: Alice Lloyd-10; JU-5
ALC struck first with 1 run in the opening inning (1-0), following an error, but earned 3 in the second.
In the second, 3 singles and 3 stolen bases permitted the runs to score (4-0). Things were looking good for the Bluegrass squad.
However, Johnson was not willing to go quietly. First, they scored 1 in the third (4-1). Then, in the fifth, they used 2 hit-batters and 2 timely singles to plate 3 more. Suddenly, the score was tied (4-4).
Once again, ALC quickly responded. In the bottom of the fifth, the squad promptly lined 7 singles. They used this flurry to score 6 runs, and pull away (10-4).
JU earned 1 back in the sixth, but Howell came on in relief and promptly slammed the door shut as she retired the side to close the game.
Methax led the way going 3-4 at the plate, while Adkins, Sturgill and Brewer all added 2 hits. Methax and freshman Baylee Cox (P) drove in 3 RBI’s apiece.
Cox tossed six innings, allowing 8 hits and 5 runs. Howell tossed the final inning.
ALC dominated in the hitting battle, 14-8, and had 1error
GAME 2: Alice Lloyd- 1, OCU-9
OKC scored 2 in both the first and third to pull ahead, 0-4. ALC only had 2 hits during this same span.
Alice Lloyd finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth when Adkins opened the inning with a double, then promptly scored on two consecutive bunts (1-4). However, that would be the only run to cross home.
The Indiana club earned that back in the bottom of the inning (1-5), before plating 4 dagger insurance runs in the fifth ((1-9) to end the event.
At the plate, Adkins, Clark, Stambaugh, and Brewer each had 1 hit.
On the mound, Brewer allowed 5 runs and 8 hits over 4 innings of work.
Alice Lloyd (25-22) dropped the hitting battle 11-4, and had the only error of the day.
After the round-robin action concluded, the Lady Eagles finished as the runner-up in the region. They now sit back and wait to see if their school-record 25 wins is enough to enable them to receive an at-large bid to the nationals.