David Salley, Director of Athletic Communications
ARKADELPHIA – Kaitlyn Felder and Abbie Moore provided late game heroics as the Reddies responded from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Emporia State 5-4 in the final game of the Alvy Early Memorial Classic.
Michelle Sorensen entered in the top of the sixth inning, kept HSU within striking distance, and wound up with her first victory of the 2019 season.
The Reddies finished the weekend 3-2 after dropping the first of two games on Sunday, as mistakes and missed opportunities proved costly as HSU fell to Maryville, 9-4.
Ashleigh Erb had a productive day at the plate and in the field, finishing the afternoon 3-for-6 with a double, a home run, and three RBIs while making several difficult plays from third base. Kailey Reese also provided a spark for the Reddies, going 4-for-8 with two RBIs.
The Reddies (6-6) begin Great American Conference play next weekend when HSU welcomes Arkansas Tech for a four-game set with doubleheaders scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m.
Game Two: Henderson State 5, Emporia State 4
Trailing 2-0, the Reddies threatened in the bottom of the second after Moore reached with a walk and Cecily Rodriguez singled into the outfield grass behind the first baseman. Following a textbook sacrifice from Alexis Morton, the Reddies had two runners in scoring position with one out, but couldn’t capitalize, and remained in a 2-0 hole.
HSU put runners on the corners in the third inning and loaded the bases in the fourth, but were unable to push across runs in either situation.
Neither the Reddies nor the Hornets threatened in the fifth frame, but it looked as though HSU’s missed opportunities were going to prove the difference when ESU doubled the lead to 4-0 with back-to-back home runs in the top of the sixth inning. Sorensen took over for Mallory Brewer to get the last two outs of the fifth and keep the Reddies in the contest.
The Reddies finally broke through in the sixth. Rodriguez reached first after being hit by a pitch, bringing Felder to the plate to pinch hit. Felder feasted on the first pitch, and sent a rainbow home run over the left center field wall, as HSU cut the lead in half, 4-2.
With the bases cleared after two quick outs, it looked as if HSU would have to wait until the seventh for another opportunity. However, two pinch-hit singles from Sam Smith and Christianna Camp restarted the Reddies’ rally and brought Reese to the plate. Reese came up with a clutch triple that scored two and tied the game 4-4.
Sorensen remained on the mound for the seventh and worked around an error to open the inning as the Reddies came back up in the seventh with a chance to win it. Moore didn’t waste any time, as the freshman sent a no-doubt home run high over the left field fence, allowing the Reddies to walk off in style and beat the Hornets 5-4.
Game One: Maryville University 9, Henderson State 4
HSU slapped eight hits, including a line-drive home run from Erb, but were unable to climb out of an eight-run deficit as the Saints defeated the Reddies 9-4.
The Saints scored three in the first, and added another five runs in the top of the second to lead 8-0. The Reddies responded and put runners on the corners in the first but failed to execute a double-steal and were left empty handed. HSU did get it going in the bottom of the second when Erb laced a frozen rope over the left field wall to put the Reddies on the board and cut the deficit to 8-2.
HSU’s pitching staff settled into the contest, allowing just one run in the final five frames, as Cayleigh Guthrie and Sorensen combined for 5.1 innings and allowed just four hits while striking out six.
The Reddies pushed two runners across in the bottom of the seventh after a bunt single by Rodriguez and a double down the left field line from Erb scored her. Ashlyn Taylor followed with a single back up the box to bring home Erb, but the HSU comeback came no further, and the Reddies fell 9-4.