Alva Review-Courier -

By Eric Scott
NWOSU Sports 

Softball: Johnson, Russel have a day; Rangers split with rival Bulldogs

 

March 29, 2019

Trey Lunn

The Northwestern softball team waits for Taylor Russell to cross home plate as she hits the second team home run in back-to-back innings during Game 1.

ALVA, Okla. – The Northwestern Oklahoma State University Rangers have continuously improved as the year has progressed. Tuesday's doubleheader against longtime rivals, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, was no different.

The freshman class continued to stand out. Taylor Russell had a day against SWOSU as she sent two home runs, the first of her career, deep over left field and scored two runs and 2 runs batted in. Kalie Johnson went 4-for-7 at the plate with two doubles, while also scoring one run and earning one RBI.

Johnson continues to lead the team in average as well as doubles with eight.

Alexus Bailey continued her hot streak going 3-for-7 at the plate with one run, one RBI, and one double. Four other Rangers in Jayda Overby, Jayden Flowers, Morgan Kirk, and Madison Friest tallied two hits each to add to the Northwestern hit total.

Game 1

SWOSU started the game with a bang as Amanda Moreno sent one of her two home runs over the fence in the first inning to give the Bulldogs an early lead. A triple and a sacrifice fly added another run to the board making it 2-0 in SWOSU's favor in the top of the first.

The Rangers came fighting back in the bottom of the second as they added a run of their own to cut into SWOSU's lead. A Johnson double allowed Kirk, who reached on a walked, to cross the plate to get Northwestern within one run.

The Bulldogs got that run back in their half of the third inning scored on two hits, to give them a 3-1 lead.

A walk and an error in the top of the fifth allowed SWOSU to tack on another run and allowed them to extend their lead to three runs, 4-1.

The Black and Red wasn't done just yet as they cut the lead back down to one with two separate home runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings by Friest and Russell, respectively. The Rangers power got them within one run with a score of 4-3.

The Bulldogs would pull away in the top of the seventh inning with another Moreno home run, as she went 3-3, to start a rally for SWOSU. They would add another run on a wild pitch, which gave them their final lead of 6-3.

The Rangers would fight back in the bottom of the seventh inning getting runners, Kirk (fielder's choice) and Flowers (single), into scoring position but could not plate them, allowing the Bulldogs to take the first game with a final score of 6-3.

Game 2

NWOSU took the lead early and would then hold that lead with stellar pitching and defense. The second game was all about the Black and Red.

Allison Wells pitched a gem with a complete game. She held the Bulldogs to only four hits with five strikeouts and only two walks, giving her team the advantage to take the second half of the doubleheader.

Kalie Johnson started the game in style as she sent a single into center field. Bailey followed with her own hit as she drove a double down the left field line to advance Johnson to third base. An Overby single scored the first run of the game for the Rangers.

Trey Lunn

LEFT: Lady Ranger Madison Friest catches the foul ball from Southwestern Oklahoma State. RIGHT: Alexus Bailey hits a double in Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Morgan La Neve then grounded into a double play but would give enough distraction to allow Bailey to score as the Rangers took a 2-0 lead.

Another deep home run from Russell, her second home run in as many games, started the bottom of the second inning with a bang. Kirk singled down the right field line to keep the inning going while eventually scoring on Bailey's second hit as she sent an RBI single through the right side as she gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead.

The rest of the game focus was more on defense for both teams as they fought to prevent the opposing team from scoring runs through the last five innings.

Wells continued to dominate as she pitched herself out of multiple jams. She ended with an exclamation point striking out her last batter to earn the Ranger's first shut out of the year. Northwestern would take the split with a 4-0 score.

 

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