Softball pulls ahead in weekend series following initial loss

After losing the first game in the series to Tennessee State, the Cougars came back to dominate the next two games the following day.

The Cougars lost the first game in the series with a 4-3 score, but followed up with a score of 8-0 and 4-3. Head Coach Ben Sorden said that despite losing the first game, he thought they played well and were able to keep that momentum onto the following day.

“We came out hot yesterday and we just didn’t finish,” Sorden said. “I think they showed in the first game that they meant business and I was very proud of the comeback today.”

The Tigers scored the first point of the game at the top of the first inning by third baseman Anayah Baker-Rowell, leaving the Cougars down 1-0 going into the second. However, both teams scored two points in the second inning, bringing the score in favor of the Tigers at 3-2.

Midway through the second inning, freshman pitcher Rylie Pindel from Las Vegas, Nevada, subbed in for junior pitcher Kelsey Ray from Goreville, Illinois, shutting down Tennessee State’s offense for the remainder of the game.

Pindel, who was playing for the first time after a minor injury, said she felt good about her performance, especially since she only had two days to prepare.

“It was a little stressful. I was nervous,” Pindel said. “I wasn’t feeling prepared, and then right when I got it I was like, ‘No, I’m ready.’”

The Cougars scored one point at the bottom of the third inning, and the final run of the game was at the bottom of the fourth by junior infielder Jenna Herron from Lewistown, Illinois, off of a hit by sophomore infielder Paige Rocha from Platte City, Missouri, who boasted four hits for the day. Sorden said he thinks Rocha has exhibited a strong performance overall.

“Paige Rocha is a special player and she’s just dangerous in the box,” Sorden said. “She can be into all fields, she’s got speed, she’s got power and she’s just doing a fantastic job offensively.”

Sorden said he’s hoping they can keep this drive going forward in the season.

“I hope that we’re gaining some momentum and are starting to believe in ourselves,” Sorden said. “We’re going to try and continue this momentum.”

This game places the Cougars at 15-20 overall and 2-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Cougars will play next at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on April 15 against Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana.

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