Now would not be a good time to play the Crowder Lady ‘Riders’ softball team.
Riding a current 8-game winning streak, the Lady ‘Riders earned their keep on Saturday as they kicked off the Crowder Bash Tournament at the Joplin Athletic Complex with a 4-3 win over NJCAA No. 1 Iowa Western, and a 25-8 victory over Southeastern (Okla.) College. That was following a regular season sweep of Maple Woods on Friday.
After taking an early 2-0 lead in the first game on Saturday, the Lady Reivers scored three unanswered runs and took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. There the Lady ‘Riders would tie it on a single, and send the game into extra innings.
Playing with the international tiebreaker in effect, Crowder’s Shelby Stuck began the bottom of the eighth at second base, advanced to third on a bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brooke Hulsey with the winning run.
Later against Southeastern, the bats came alive as Hulsey popped three home runs to lead her team to victory.
“Allison Tonyan pitched a really good game (Saturday),” Crowder coach Lori Videmschek said. “We battled. We did what we needed to do. We didn’t miss opportunities to score more runs. You can’t afford to miss opportunities, especially when you’re playing a team like Iowa Western.
“That’s a big plus in our favor that the kids were able to bounce back and score that run in the seventh.”
On Friday the Lady ‘Riders swept Maple Woods in a doubleheader at Lady ‘Riders Field 11-1, 14-4.
Crowder struck first in game one in the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead, but Maple Woods answered with a run in the third to tie it. Things broke loose in the bottom of the third, however, as the Lady ‘Riders plated five runs to blow it open before adding five more in the fourth to win the game by run-rule in five innings.
Shyanne Nichols clubbed three hits and drove in four runs in the game to lead Crowder’s offense, while Shelby Stuck, Brooke Hulsey, Morgan Coleman and Kala Crisp each had two hits. Jessica Neely, Carson Forge, Payton Appleberry and Alexis Navarro each had a hit. Crisp drove in two runs and scored twice, while Hulsey and Coleman each had an RBI and scored two runs.
Madison Barnes earned the victory on the mound after scattering five hits with three strikeouts in five innings.
Game two was also cut short by the run-rule as the Lady ‘Riders scored 14 runs on 10 hits thanks to two big innings.
Page 2 of 2 - Trailing 2-0 in the second, Crowder exploded for six runs as they got to starter Michaela Hicks. The Lady Monarchs would get two of those runs back in the third to cut the deficit to 6-4, but the Lady ‘Riders answered with eight more in the fourth to make it 14-4.
Crowder starter Ashton Worth earned the victory after allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits in five innings on the mound. Worth walked four and struck out two.
Meanwhile, the Lady ‘Riders tagged Hicks for 14 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Neely went 2 for 3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored off Hicks, while Nichols had two hits, drove in two and scored a run. Andrea Drake, Forge, Hulsey, Coleman, Crisp and Amber Taylor all had hits, while Taylor and Hulsey drove in two runs each.
The Lady ‘Riders are back in action today against Indian Hills Community College at 9 a.m. and again against Maple Woods at 3 p.m.