CRETE, Neb. – Riding the momentum from a big sweep of Morningside this past Thursday, Midland University’s softball team rolled into Crete, Nebraska on Saturday afternoon and came away with another Great Plains Athletic Conference sweep. The No. 20 Warriors (25-7, 15-3 GPAC) cruised to a pair of victories over the Doane Tigers (15-23, 7-11 GPAC) on Saturday to hold their spot atop the conference standings.
Game one on Saturday was all about junior Katlin Anders as she powered the Warriors to the win by going 3-4 at the plate with two home runs and a triple as she racked up four RBIs in the game.
Anders’ first home run got the scoring started as she launched one to left centerfield after Andrea Cespedes reached on a hit by pitch.
The Warriors led 2-1 in the fifth inning when Anders homered down the left field line and scored Jamie Phares from second base, putting the Warriors up 4-1 as Anders had accounted for all four RBIs.
Anders’ sixth and seventh home runs of the season moved her into third place in the GPAC home run race, just one home run shy of Amber Budmark (DWU) and Amber Writer (MMC) who each have eight on the season.
Midland scored one run in each of the final two innings of game one and went on to win 6-1. The RBIs in the final two frames came from Phares and Sierra Athow. Athow’s RBI scored Anders who had just led off the inning with a triple.
Jaylee Hinrichs was on her game again in game one, pitching a one-hitter complete game while striking out nine hitters to improve her record to 16-4.
In game two, the Warriors jumped out to an early led as Cespedes scored as a result of two errors in the top of the first inning. The Warriors grabbed two more runs in the third inning as Cespedes again scored on an error and Angela Brazil brought home Bobbi Singleton with an RBI single.
The Tigers got one run in the bottom of the third to cut into the deficit as Jordan Van Roy homered off of Midland starter Hailee Fliam to start the inning.
That wasn’t nearly enough as the Warriors’ offense caught fire quickly in the fourth as eight straight batters reached base safely to start the inning for Midland. Angela Brazil capped the start to the inning with a grand slam to left center field that put the Warriors up 10-1 at the time.
The grand slam is Brazil’s fifth of the season, which ties her for sixth-most in the GPAC so far this season.
Brazil’s grand slam chased Doane starter Hannah Feagler from the game, but the Warriors still weren’t done as Kylie Engleman launched a two-run home run of her own, her second of the year, to left centerfield to cap off a nine-run fourth inning for the Warriors.
Pitching with a lead, Fliam was content with throwing strikes in the bottom of the fourth, and the Tigers tried to claw back into the game with three runs on four hits in the inning. Michaela Jackson replaced Fliam to start the fifth inning and continued throw strikes as the Tigers added another run but still trailed 12-5 after the inning.
Engleman doubled home another run in the ninth inning to put the Warriors up eight and allow Midland to win by way of the mercy rule as Jackson held the Tigers scoreless in the sixth, securing a sweep and a 13-5 win for Midland.
Brazil’s grand slam aided her five-RBI performance in game two as she went 2-3 at the plate. Engleman added three RBIs and was 3-4 at the plate to help Brazil power the Warriors to a win in game two.
Fliam’s record improved to 7-3 after the win, helping get the freshman back on track after hitting a difficult stretch of GPAC play in the last couple of weeks.
The Warriors still control their own destiny with just two more doubleheaders left in the regular season. Midland travels to Yankton, South Dakota on Tuesday for a doubleheader with the Mount Marty Lancers (17-19, 8-8 GPAC) before returning home for Senior Day on Saturday, April 27, versus the Northwestern Red Raiders (15018, 8-6 GPAC).
If the Warriors can continue to ride momentum, they will have a great shot at winning the regular season title and hosting the first round of the GPAC postseason tournament.
First pitch on Tuesday is set for 3:00 p.m., while game one at Christensen Field on Saturday will begin at 1:00 p.m.