Henderson falls in 16 innings to SNU to conclude 2017 campaign
May 5, 2017
In the longest game in Great American Conference Tournament history, Henderson State fell on Thursday afternoon 2-1 in 16 innings to Southern Nazarene to bring their run in the GAC Tournament, and their season, to a close.
Over the game's first five innings, neither team could get much going, as Reddies pitcher Michelle Sorensen and Crimson Storm pitcher Katelyn Brown were both locked in. In the sixth, though, Henderson got on the board, when Courtney Warren reached on an error by the second baseman and Alexis Morton used smart base running to score from second, giving HSU a 1-0 lead.
SNU responded in the bottom half of the inning, when an RBI single scored Brown, who had reached on an error and advanced to second on a walk, tying things up at 1-1. The Crimson Storm had a chance to take the lead, but Sorensen struck out Mahina Sauer for the final out of the inning to leave a runner stranded on third for SNU.
Neither team could scratch a run in the seventh, so the game moved into extra innings, where the Reddies and Crimson Storm ultimately battled for nine more frames. Henderson had opportunities in extra innings to take the lead and advanced a runner to third base with just one out in both the 11th and 15th innings, but could not score her. After holding SNU at bay for almost nine innings, the Crimson Storm finally came through in the 16th, when Riley Brown walked to get on base, was advanced to second on a sac bunt, stole third, and finally scored on an RBI infield single from Amy Reynolds, to win it for SNU 2-1 and end Henderson's season in heart-breaking fashion.
The Reddies fought valiantly in defeat, and for the second time on the day out-hit their opponent, this time 11-5, but still lost. Michelle Sorensen was a warrior in the circle for HSU despite getting the loss. Sorensen gave up just one earned run on five hits in 15.1 innings, while striking out 18. Her 18 strikeouts pushed her to 209 for the season, making her the third pitcher in HSU history to have over 200 in a season. She faced 60 batters on the afternoon and threw 249 pitches.
Olivia Trapp was equally impressive offensively for Henderson, going 4-for-7 at the plate. Her four hits puts her in a 10-way tie for the most hits in a single GAC Tournament game. Trapp, Warren, Rebekah Teel and Katelyn Brown of SNU, all now share the GAC record for most at-bats in a game with seven.
The 16-inning affair shattered the previous record for longest GAC Tournament game, besting last season's 12-inning contest between Southern Arkansas and East Central by almost four full innings.
The two losses on Thursday end the Reddies' season at 23-33 overall.