MONTICELLO, Ark. — Southeastern’s LadyStorm softballers swept a huge conference twinbill over the Arkansas-Monticello Cotton Blossoms, winning 5-2 and 5-4 Friday afternoon.
Coach Ron Faubion said, “These are the two biggest road wins we’ve had in the Great American Conference.
“Arkansas-Monticello has a very good softball team and they are well-coached. Sweeping at their place just isn’t something you can count on. The way we won the first game was unreal. Their pitcher (Randa Perry) had a perfect game through the first five innings and the first batter in the sixth. We hadn’t even hit a ball to the outfield.
“Paige Priest got us going with an infield single and we scored four in the sixth.
“Everything was going our way in the second game until they rallied for two in the seventh to make it a one-run game.
“It was fun to see our kids play like this. I say this a lot, but it’s true. All of our wins are going to be team wins. We just somehow keep scrambling. I’m really proud of this bunch. As a reward for these two wins, we get to play Monticello again (Saturday).” Southeastern improved to 23-6 overall and 8-2 in GAC play. Monticello dipped to 18-12 and 5-3.
Jacee Bennett got the win in both games, relieving Mindy McElroy in the fifth inning of game one and working 5.1 innings as the starter in game two.
Catcher Courtney Moore had a big day at the plate with three for four in the second game and four for seven on the day.
Shortstop Lacie Cook drilled her first home run of the year, a 2-run shot that got the Storm on the board in game two. Darrian Wiliams fouled a pitch that hammered her in the mouth before blasting a two-run double deep to right-center.
LadyStorm 5 v. Arkansas-Monticello 2:
Randa Perry put the Storm down for a perfect game through the first 16 outs and her teammates staked her to a 2-run lead, scoring in the second and fifth innings.
Priest started the game-winning rally with one out in the sixth when she legged out an infield roller to short. That brought on Bennett who dropped a single behind first base. Jessica Simmons’ grounder to short was ruled an error that allowed Priest to score. Cook dropped a sacrifice bunt that plated Bennett with the tying run. Williams added a sacrifice bunt to score Cook and reached on a fielder’s choice. Moore single home Williams to make it 4-2, Storm. Bennett gave up no runs on one hit while walking one intentionally, striking out three and running her record to 12-3.
Whitney Hamilton’s solo homer, her second of the year, led off the seventh and ended the scoring.
Bennett was one for one and scored a run for the Storm. Priest was one for two with one run scored. Moore and Hamilton were one for three each.
Maggie Sands was two for four for Monticello.
LadyStorm 5 v. Arkansas-Monticello 4:
Bennett started and blanked the Cotton Blossoms through the first four innings while the Storm delivered a 5-0 cushion.
Cook’s two-run homer scored Simmons, on base with a two-out double, in the third.
A two-out rally in the fifth provided the eventual winning run. Simmons started it with an infield hit to shortstop that put runners at first and third. Cook stole second and Williams ripped a two-run double deep to right-center before scoring on Moore’s second-straight single.
Monticello rallied with solo home runs in the fifth and sixth and a two-run shot in the seventh before Bennett returned to strike out Beth Johnson, UAM’s cleanup hitter who had homered in the sixth.
Bennett started, McElroy came on with nobody out in the sixth and Bennett polished off the victory to make her record 13-3.
Moore paced the Storm with three for four and one RBI. Simmons and Cook each were two for four with two runs scored. Simmons doubled and stole a base. Cook drove in two runs.
Courtney Riddle was one for three and Williams one for four with a double, two runs batted in and one run scored.
Perry and Summer Huddleston were two for three each for Monticello.
Saturday Games: Softball Wraps Four-Game Sweep of UAM
MONTICELLO, Ark. – No. 5 Southeastern came up with big plays when it needed them on Saturday afternoon to complete a sweep of Arkansas-Monticello, taking game one 3-2 before picking up a 5-3 win in the finale in Monticello, Ark.
The wins lift the Savage Storm to 25-6 overall on the season and 10-2 in Great American Conference play following wins of 5-2 and 5-4 on Friday against UAM.
In the opener it was a big hit that helped push SE to the victory as Whitney Hamilton connected on a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to put the Storm back in front 3-2 which would hold to be the final score.
It would hold thanks to a seventh inning effort by Jacee Bennett who recovered form walking the leadoff hitter to strikeout the next two batters before coaxing the final batter to pop out back to her, completing the save.
Darrian Williams put Southeastern on the board in the third inning with an RBI single that plated Rachel Jones for an early 1-0 lead.
The Cotton Blossoms, however, would capture the lead in the fifth on back-to-back RBI hits to go up 2-1.
Six different Storm hitters each collected a hit on the contest, with Hamilton driving in two runs and Williams adding the other RBI.
Mindy McElroy got the start and picked up her 10th win of the season after tossing five innings and allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts.
Bennett would pick up the two inning save after allowing just two hits and striking out three.
In the finale, SE jumped ahead again, this time in the first inning when Williams scored on a throwing error by the catcher.
UAM responded to tie the game in the bottom of the first.
The Storm would then open its lead in the third, starting when Williams squeezed home Jessica Simmons to go up 2-1.
That would extend two-batters later after back-to-back walks loaded the bases and Courtney Riddle singled home Williams for a 3-1 lead.
Benett was the next batter and reached on a fielder’s choice that scored a pinch-running Shayna Milam for a 4-1 lead.
The final Storm run of the inning came on an RBI single by Paige Priest that scored a pinch-running Kelsey Overacker for a 5-1 lead.
The Blossoms tried to mount a rally with a solo homer in the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-2.
UAM would then load the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, picking up an RBI single to trim the SE lead to 5-3.
Bennett would respond however and coax back-to-back foul outs from the Blossoms’ three and four hole hitters to preserve the 5-3 lead.
She would then work through the seventh inning in just four batters to wrap up the complete game victory.
Bennett finished the contest with four strikeouts and allowed three runs, two of which were earned, despite allowing 13 hits over her seven innings of work.
At the plate, Williams and Riddle each posted two-hit outings, while five others collected a hit each.
Williams, Riddle, Bennett and Priest each had an RBI.