Lady Statesmen eliminated from regional
by Andy Collier
May 13, 2014 | 1266 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Delta State University Lady Statesmen showed plenty of fight but saw their season come to an end in the NCAA Division II South Region Softball Tournament in Tampa, Fla.

The Lady Statesmen lost to the Tampa Spartans 3-2 on Friday, but came back on Saturday to earn a thrilling 4-3 win over the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish in the second game. DSU ended up losing to Tampa again on Saturday 3-0. DSU's season ended at 31-31.

In Friday’s game, Tampa took an early lead in the bottom of the first as Meagan Burke drilled a RBI-single to make the score 1-0. In the bottom of the second, Kandi Kuder, who led off the inning with a single, ended up scoring on a throwing error to put the Spartans up 2-0.

Senior pitcher Kayla Cox was dominant for Tampa early as she retired the first nine batters with six strikeouts in her first three innings of work.

In the top of the fourth, Delta State was able to break up the perfect game as Kassidy Tally reached base on a leadoff walk. Tally proved why she’s the nation’s leader in stolen bases as she ended up stealing second and third. Mariah Alvarez kept DSU’s momentum going as she drew a walk and stole second to give the Lady Statesmen two runners in scoring position with no outs. After the next two batters were retired, Taylor Holland came up big for DSU by tagging a two-run single to score both Tally and Alvarez to tie the game at 2-2.

Delta State’s starting pitcher Miller Maddox settled down after a slow start and kept her team in the game. Maddox kept the Spartans off the score board for the next three innings to keep the game tied at 2-2 going into the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Kayleen Boatwright drilled a triple and scored on a throwing error to give the Spartans the victory.

Cox ended up earning the win as she gave up two runs on only two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game win. The Lady Statesmen also finished the game with four errors.

“They (Tampa) had a lot of infield hits, and there were so many tough plays we didn’t make,” Delta State head coach Casey Charles said by phone. “I was real pleased with the way we competed.”

Maddox suffered the tough luck loss as she gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in a six-inning complete game effort.

“Miller did a great job,” Charles said. “We were in that game. We let Tampa’s pitcher use her strengths against us. We needed more offense, and we made too many errors.”

Holland tagged a two-run single, and Kaitlin Moore drilled a single to give the Lady Statesmen their only hits.

Boatwright tagged a triple and a double with a run scored to lead the Spartans, followed by Kuder with two hits and two runs and Jenna Halper with two hits.

In Saturday’s game with Palm Beach Atlantic, Delta State was the team that jumped out top first. In the bottom of first, Tally walked to lead off the inning. Tally went to work on the base paths again by stealing second and third. The next batter, Alvarez, drove in Tally on a ground ball to second to give the Lady Statesmen a 1-0 lead with one out in the inning. Moore and Amber Adcock each tagged singles in the inning, but one run was all the Lady Statesmen could get.

In the top of the fourth, DSU’s Maddox found herself in trouble as PBA hitters Jen Hunter and Victoria Gonzalez each hit singles to lead off the inning. Delta State’s defense came through in a big way however as Shelby Wood hit a ground ball to third baseman Brook Cline. Cline was able to get Hunter out at third and throw out Wood heading to first to turn the double play and get the first two outs of the inning. The next batter, Kayla Knight, hit a single to move Gonzalez to third, but Maddox was able to retire the next batter to help preserve the 1-0 DSU lead.

With two outs and two runners on in the top of the fifth, things finally went PBA’s way as Hunter drilled a single. Sarah Gosciniak was able to score as a throwing error was committed on the play to tie the game at 1-1.

The Sailfish were able to get the lead in the top of the seventh as Gonzalez and Stephanie Garrels each drilled RBI-singles to make the score 3-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cline gave Delta State a spark as she roped a double to lead off the inning. After the next two batters flied out, Tally kept the inning alive by drawing a walk. Alvarez stepped up made her presence known at the plate for the Lady Statesmen as she hit a single that scored courtesy runner Ashley Mrozinski to cut the Sailfish’s lead to 3-2.

After Kaitlin Moore was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs, the table was set for Adcock. Adcock came through in the clutch by stroking a single to left field to score Tally and Alvarez to give Delta State the victory.

Moore led the Lady Statesmen at the plate with two hits, followed by Alvarez and Adcock with a hit and two RBIs each and Cline with a double.

Maddox (10-10) earned the win in the circle as she gave up three runs on 11 hits with four walks and two strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game win.

Gonzalez and Hunter led the Sailfish at the plate with three hits each.

Amber Johnson (17-9) suffered the tough luck loss for PBA by giving up four runs on six hits with five walks and a strikeout in 6.2 innings of work. PBA ended its year at 30-16.

In Saturday's final game against Tampa, Taylor Tucker suffered the loss in the circle as she gave up three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of work. Miller Maddox pitched well for DSU in relief as she gave up just three hits in five shutout innings of work.

Moore and Andrea Cutts each hit singles for the Lady Statesmen.