Softball- Park VS Graceland series

MacKenzie Coder, Reporter

Park University softball played a doubleheader against Graceland University on April 26. The two-game series was originally scheduled for April 10 but was postponed due to weather conditions.

Senior Lexie Duncan was Park’s starting pitcher and recorded five strikeouts in the game. She held Graceland until the second inning, when the opposing team scored three earned runs off three hits.

Graceland continued to find holes in the fourth inning, adding two more runs to the board. A two-run home run was hit by Graceland’s first baseman Riley Verwers in the top of the sixth, resulting in relief pitcher, freshman Dakota Rau, coming in for Duncan. Rau gave up three hits and another two runs before throwing out a batter at first base to end the inning.

Park ended the game with five hits and no runs scored for a loss of 9-0.

Graceland came out strong in the first inning of the second game, scoring one run on a sacrifice bunt and taking the early lead.

That lead didn’t last long though. With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Duncan hit a ground-rule double followed by sophomore utility player Nicole Curtis and junior outfielder Hillary Protzman getting walked. A ground ball hit through the middle of third base and short stop by junior infielder Haley Williams scored Duncan and Curtis, giving Park the 2-1 lead. Freshman infielder Macee Austin then singled to center field, scoring Protzman and making it 3-1.

With one runner on base in the top of the third, Graceland scored another run on a base hit to center field, closing in on Park’s lead at 3-2.

Park answered in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, a wild pitch brought in freshman infielder Meggen Keller, increasing Park’s lead over Graceland to 4-2.

After Graceland tied it up at 4-4 in the top of the fourth, sophomore pitcher Adrianna Solary was relieved by junior pitcher Anna Albaugh who ended the inning on a no swing strikeout.

At bat, Albaugh singled to left field, driving in two runs to take back the lead at 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth.

Once again, Graceland answered in the top of the fifth scoring three runs. A single scored one run and a two-run homerun gave Graceland the lead at 7-6.

Senior outfielder Shay Tolbert scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth. Duncan’s double also scored Keller, giving Park an 8-7 lead.

Graceland quickly took back the lead, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh for another score change at 11-8.

After Protzman got on base with a single, Williams brought in two with her homerun. Park was only down by one in the final inning, and the bases were loaded for freshman catcher Kali Day. With a full count, Day hit a walk off grand slam of the left field fence to win the game 14-11.

Park’s next games are April 29 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. against Peru State College.