The Southwestern Oklahoma State softball team built a lead in both games against No. 5 Southeastern Oklahoma State on Friday afternoon, but both times the Savage Storm responded and took two close victories, by scores of 4-2 and 4-3 (9 inn.).
No. 5 Southeastern Oklahoma State 4, SWOSU 2
The Lady Bulldogs struck early in the first game, putting up one run in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead. With runners on first and second base, Ashley Filer stepped up to the plate and put SWOSU on the board with an RBI single in the first inning, scoring Summer Blackowl from second base. Blackowl returned the favor in the second inning, bringing Courtney Miller around to score with an RBI single of her own.
From there the offense belonged to the Savage Storm, who tied the game up at 2-2 with two runs on three hits of SWOSU starter Megan Ayala in the second inning. Ayala was replaced by Julianne Martinez in the fourth inning following a leadoff double and SEOSU managed two more runs in the inning to take a 4-2 lead.
Blackowl and Filer each had two hits and one RBI, combining for four of the Bulldogs five hits in the game. Ayala was tagged with the loss after tossing 3.0 innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs.
No. 5 Southeastern Oklahoma State 4, SWOSU 3 (9 inn.)
Blackowl had another strong outing in the second game, finishing 4-for-4 from the plate and batting in the Bulldogs first run in the top of the third inning. Two batters later, Kori Oord belted her ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot, putting SWOSU up 3-1.
Whitney Porter kept the Savage Storm at bay in the third, the conference's third-ranked offense came through with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game up.
From there, the pitching and defense took over on both sides and the game was sent to extra innings. SWOSU was held to just two hits over the final innings, both from Blackowl, but they were unable to push a go-ahead run across either time.
Defense kept the Bulldogs in the game and thwarted a rally by SEOSU in the eighth inning with a 6-4-3 double play that ended the inning and sent the game to another inning. In that next inning, however, SWOSU was finally done in by the Savage Storm, who pieced together two hits with a sacrifice bunt to get the victory 4-3.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow in a doubleheader starting at noon.