Feb. 25, 2012
Contact: Tim Ertle
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Cleveland State softball team dropped both of its games on Saturday (Feb. 25) at the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Vikings fell to Ball State by a 3-0 count before coming up short in extra innings in a 6-5 loss to Troy.
Through the first eight games of the season, the Vikings are 1-7.
In the loss to Ball State, the Cardinals were the first to score when they pushed two runs across in the home half of the second inning. CSU starting pitcher Megan Bashak allowed a double to the first batter of the inning and she came around to score with the aid of a CSU error - one of three committed in the game. The Cardinals tacked on another run in the second and carried the 2-0 lead into the fifth when they tacked on a run thanks to a solo home run from Jennifer Gilbert.
The Vikings had two hits in the sixth and one more in the seventh but never could solve Ball State starting pitcher Audrey Workman. She went the distance to pick up her second win of the season. Workman allowed five hits while striking out six and issuing a pair of walks.
Bashak was dealt the loss and her record slid to 1-4 despite an ERA of 1.84. Just seven of the 14 runs scored on Bashak this season have been earned - and one of the three runs to score on Saturday was not charged to her.
The bats came alive in the second game against Troy but the Trojans late-inning magic saw them score two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to win the game in come-from-behind fashion.
The Vikings took a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning but the Trojans were able to capitalize on poor defense by the Vikings. After the first batter of the inning popped up to shortstop Cynthia Woodard, the next hitter got all the way to second on a dropped fly and brought the tying run to the plate. Shields threw one to the backstop to allow the runner to move up a station, but it was irrelevant when Nikki Hollett homered to left field to tie the game at 4-4.
Shields later allowed another runner aboard but managed to end any potential threat and turned it over to her resilient teammates.
By rule, Afton Allred was placed on second base to start the eighth frame. Andrea Nagy put the ball in play when she grounded it to the first baseman who elected to go after Allred and caught her between second and third. Nagy reached on the fielder's choice, stole second and came around to score on Bashak's double to left.
A CSU error in the eighth led to a Trojan run and the game ended when Hannah Renn flied out to left field which allowed Taylor Smartt to tag and score the game winning run. Shields was docked was the loss after working 7.2 innings and allowing six runs, only four of which were earned. She allowed 10 hits and walked two while striking out a pair in what was her first decision in a Viking uniform.
Shields helped her own cause when she used her bat to spark the offense in the CSU second. She hit a one-out double to left and scored on a McNew single to make it 3-0 in favor of CSU.
Three Trojan hits in the second resulted in two runs to cut the CSU lead to one but the Viking offense answered the bell again when in the fourth when Woodard scored on Allred's double.
Of the nine runs that Cleveland State allowed on Saturday, three were unearned.
Dara Toman led the Viking offense on the day as she finished 4-6. Woodard had three hits in six at-bats and her classmate McNew was 2-3 in her lone start against Troy.
The Vikings will conclude the weekend with an 11:00 a.m. game tomorrow against Tennessee-Martin.