Softball Cats Soar Past Eagles, 2-0
CLAREMORE, Okla.- The third seeded Rogers State softball team shutout second seeded Central Methodist 2-0 at the NAIA Softball Opening Round-Claremore Bracket on Monday evening at the Diamond Sports Complex.
After a six-game hiatus due to injury, sophomore Laura Fleck returned to the circle and tossed a four-hit complete game shutout over the Eagles. With the win, the Hillcats snap an eight-game losing streak and advance in the winner’s bracket at the Opening Round.
The Hillcats took a quick lead in the top of the first frame. Junior Jamie King led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cailin Simpson. Junior Candace Monigold moved King to third with a single sliced through the left side of the infield. With the hit, the Broken Arrow, Okla. native broke the RSU single-season hits record with 74 on the year. Shona Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to put the Hillcats on the board, 1-0.
The Eagles left runners on base in the first and second inning but Fleck faced the minimum in the third and fourth innings.
RSU doubled its lead in the fifth. Katrina Loy led off the inning with a single while Desiree Ayarzagoitia followed with a single and Ashlie Fauchier reached base on a bunt single to load the bases. King singled up the middle and pinch runner Katie Ellington scored. RSU left the bases loaded to end the inning but held a 2-0 advantage.
CMU threatened in the sixth as Mary Kate Townley led off the inning with a single. Fleck fanned the next two batters but Jacqui Cappuccilli singled to right-center field to put runners on the corners. Fleck bounced back as pinch hitter Courtney Dennis struck out looking to end the inning.
The Eagles registered a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh but the Cats retired the next three batters to seal the win.
King led the Hillcats at the plate as she went 3-for-4 with one RBI. Fleck (28-11) tossed a shutout victory for the first time since March 15 when the Hillcats tallied a 5-0 win over Ottawa (Kan.).
Aubrey Utley (17-5) was tagged with the complete game loss as she allowed two earned runs on nine hits while fanning one.
Rogers State (39-17) returns to the diamond to face top-seeded Williams Baptist at 2:30 p.m. at the Diamond Sports Complex on RSU’s Claremore campus. All the NAIA Opening Round-Rogers State Bracket games will be streamed with live video and audio at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.