Softball Claims 2015 GAC Tournament Championship
Monday, May 4, 2015
BENTONVILLE, ARK. – It took two championship games, but the East Central University softball team earned the Great American Conference automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Central Regional Tournament with a 5-1 win over Henderson State.
The Tigers (32-14) were led by senior Samantha McGraw, who hit. 286 for the day, but recorded five put outs and nine assisted outs. McGraw was one of four players named to the GAC All-Tournament Team, with junior Autumn Suydam, junior Taylor Davis and juniorLauren Reeves also joining her and the MVP junior Lacey Paulk on the 13 member team.
Paulk threw the second game of the day, allowing eight hits and just one run. The earned run was the lone run she allowed in three appearances in the tournament, where she picked up two wins and a save.
ECU will now have to wait until Monday, May 2 at 10 a.m. to find out where they will head for the NCAA Central Regional.
Game 2 – ECU 5, HSU 1
The Tigers started the second game of the day on a high note, scoring five runs in the top of the first. Junior Taylor Davisstarted the inning by drawing a walk. Suydam and junior Jordynn VanPelt then reached because of fielding errors to load the bases. Reeves earned an RBI when she ground out to the pitcher.
Two more runs crossed the plate when the Reddies (41-13) centerfielder dropped a ball at the fence. Senior Kaile Marcum then walked to put two runners on for senior Kayci Snider. Snider hit a double to right center to send the final two runs home.
HSU scored a run on a solo home run in the second for a 5-1 score.
However, that is how the score would remain through the game. The Reddies did challenge late in the game, getting the bases loaded in the sixth, before Paulk struck out the last batter looking.
Game 1 – HSU 4, ECU 3
The Reddies took the early lead, with two runs in the first, one in the second and one in the fourth for a 0-4 advantage.
ECU then came alive cutting the disadvantage to one (3-4) after the bottom of the fourth. Reeves started the inning reaching due to an error. Senior Peyton Watson then earned a one-out double to left. Marcum was walked and the fourth ball was a wild pitch that allowed sophomore Carlee Henderson, who was running for Reeves, to score.
Marcum then stole second while junior Amanda Edmundson was pinch hitting. Edmundson reached due to an error and both base runners were able to come across the plate for the 3-4 score.
The Tigers then held HSU without a run in the top of the seventh and got the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, but were unable to get a run across the plate to force the if necessary game.