By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Led by dominant offense, the Stephens College softball team swept its non-conference doubleheader with Ecclesia College on Saturday afternoon. Despite playing from behind in both games, the Stars picked up 10-7 and 16-7 (5 innings) wins over the visitors from Springdale, Ark.
With the sweep, SC snapped its 10-game losing streak and improved to 3-13 on the season. The Stars have a quick turnaround as they welcome Missouri Valley College to American Legion Park Sunday at 12 and 2 p.m.
Game One – Stephens College 10, Ecclesia College 7
Ecclesia started the scoring in the first with two outs on the board. A double and back-to-back singles gave the Royals an early 2-0 lead before Stephens stranded three baserunners.
The Stars had their own two-out magic as Katie Heaton started off with a single to shallow left. Sarah Dooley, Cheyenne Jones and Jamie Martin followed suit and each hit consecutive doubles to give SC the 3-2 lead.
Both teams traded runs in the second before Ecclesia jumped back ahead, 5-4, in the third frame. Moments later, the Stars took advantage of three EC errors and bounced back from the deficit with four runs and an 8-5 advantage.
Ecclesia loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and managed to score two runs after the inning was extended on an infield miscue. Sticking to the theme of game one, the Stars had an answer to the Royals’ offense with two runs on two hits.
Rush, who recorded her second win from the mound, struck out two batters in the final inning to match a season high in strikeouts (5).
Leading the way for Stephens offensively was Monica Nakamatsu and Jamie Martin, who were both 3-for-4 at the plate. Nakamatsu added two runs and three RBI, while Martin had two doubles and one RBI. Also recording multi-hit games were Katie Heaton and Sarah Dooley, each with two hits and two RBIs apiece.
Game Two – Stephens College 16, Ecclesia College 7 (5 Innings)
Similar to game one, the Stars found themselves playing from behind, trailing Ecclesia 2-0 after the top of the first. SC made up one run in the first, but a big second inning for the Royals put the Stars in a deeper hole.
All day long, Ecclesia’s Lakota Elliott was getting ahold of the ball and had another strong go-around as she hit a three-run blast to center. Royal catcher Victoria Kaiserman hit the second home run of the inning to extended the EC lead to 7-1 heading into the bottom of the second.
The Stars got right back in the game with a five-run third inning thanks to four singles, a Heaton double and a Rush triple.
Stephens gained its first lead of game two with an ambush in the fourth inning. The Stars used their hot bats to pile on eight hits and eight runs.
Miranda Carlisle, who had a slow start in the circle, buckled down and threw three consecutive scoreless innings. In the top of the fifth, she got some help with a 5-2-6 double play, followed by a home-run saving grab by Jessica Kane at the center field fence.
The momentum and excitement carried over to the next half inning. With Heaton on first, Sarah Dooley hit a walk-off home run to run rule the Royals. Dooley leads the Stars in home runs with three on the year.
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