MONTGOMERY, Illinois – The MSOE softball team rallied from 5-2 down to tie the score in game two before a four-run sixth inning propelled Aurora to a 9-5 victory and a doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon at Spartan Park.
The Raiders (16-8, 5-7 NACC) also dropped the opener 6-1 to the Spartans (16-12, 7-3 NACC).
MSOE had scored first in the second game, striking for a pair of runs in the first inning, but found itself playing catchup as Aurora answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning and individual runs in the second and third innings to open a 5-2 advantage.
In the fifth inning, the Raiders loaded the bases through a walk, single, and a hit batter. Sophomore Kim White then drive in a run with a single while two more runners came around to score on a pair of errors on the play. When the smoke cleared, the score was tied at 5-5 and the Red & White still had a runner at third base. Unfortunately, the AU hurler came back with a much-needed strikeout to escape the inning.
The home team then put four runs on the board in the sixth inning, loading the bases with a single and a couple of defensive miscues. An RBI single and bases-clearing double then put the game out of reach.
After dropping the first game, the Raiders came out aggressively and scored two quick runs. Junior Rachel Ziemba reached on an error to lead off the game. She stole second and moved to third on sophomore Amanda Manssen's single two batters later. Manssen then stole second and both runners scored on a White single. The rally was then stifled on a fly out double play.
White and Ziemba had two hits apiece in the game.
In the circle, senior Sara McConnell (3-2) turned in a gritty performance in going the distance. She struck out nine and walked one over 6.0 innings. She allowed just four earned runs and worked around 12 hits in the game.
The Spartans jumped on the Raiders early in game one. They scored five times in the first inning and never looked back, adding a single run in the second to open a 6-0 lead.
MSOE pulled a single run back in the fifth inning, stringing together a pair of extra-base hits. Sophomore Kiki Davis hit a one-out double and was followed by a Ziemba triple to get the Red & White on the board.
Davis led the offense with two hits in the game.
Junior Liz Gale turned in a solid relief effort in the circle, scattering seven hits and a walk in 4.1 innings of scoreless relief. She struck out three in the game.
The Raiders return to action in Illinois for a third-straight day, playing a doubleheader at Benedictine Sunday.