Truman softball falls in GLVC Tournament finals
EAST PEORIA, Ill. - After five games and four wins in two days, the Truman State University softball team simply ran out of steam on Saturday in the finals of the 2017 GLVC Tournament. Missouri-St. Louis' sophomore hurler, Carly Kingery, retired the first 15 batters she faced and finished with a one-hit shutout as the Tritons defeated the Bulldogs, 5-0, to claim their fourth league title in five years.
Truman (39-21) will now put its fate into the hands of the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at 9 a.m. (WATCH) while looking for the 18th overall and fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. On the other side, Missouri-St. Louis (39-13) picks up the GLVC's automatic bid and will likely be the first or second seed in the Midwest Regional when that event's play picks up on Friday, May 12 in either Evansville, Ind. or St. Louis, Mo.
As mentioned above, Kingery was seemingly untouchable through the first five innings and lowered her sophomore ERA to 1.27, which is behind just the Pitcher of the Year, Rockhurst's Bridgette Sappington (1.16), for the lowest mark in the league. Not only was Kingery rolling along in the circle, but she was given an early lead when UMSL's Erin Walker hit a one-out solo shot to left center on the first pitch she saw in the top of the first.
Fast forward to the bottom of the sixth with the score still 1-0 and Truman finally looked like it was getting to Kingery a bit. The first batter of the frame, Jamie Fowle, reached on a fielding error by the second baseman, Brooke VunCannon pinch-ran for her and was moved up to second on Riley Cook's sacrifice bunt. Haley Wells followed with a walk and Christa Reisinger tallied the Bulldogs' only hit of the game with a single to left center that loaded up the bases for Alyssa Rivera. However, Rivera and Morgan McMahan both went down swinging and the score remained the same.
In the top of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded, Triton designated player, Morgan Hill, picked quite the time for her first-career home run. Hill deposited the ball over the fence in right center and just like that, the deficit had ballooned to five. Alyssa Hajduk retired the next batter she saw before Truman went three up, three down in the home half of the seventh.
Making her sixth appearance in as many games, Lauren Dale (21-8) lasted six and a third innings before giving way to the freshman, Hajduk. Dale took the tough-luck loss with four earned runs given up on eight hits, only one walk and six strikeouts. For the tournament, the sophomore slinger was masterful with a 2.08 ERA in 33.2 innings pitched. Dale was in the midst of everything all week as she picked up all pitching decisions for the Bulldogs and struck out 24 batters while walking only five of them with an opponent batting average of just .215.
Much like she has faced all season, head coach, Erin Brown, put Hajduk into another high-leverage situation as she came in with the bases loaded and one down in the bottom of the seventh. For the tournament, Hajduk turned in an absurd strikeout-to-walk ratio of 16-2 in in 10 innings pitched as hitters managed an average of just .229 against the southpaw.
While we're talking about how some Bulldogs did in the tournament, the show that Reisinger and Lex Van Nostrand put on this week needs to be touched on. For the team's six games, Reisinger hit .560 with 14 hits in her 25 at-bats. Yes, you read that right. The sophomore center fielder finished with eight runs scored, one double, one triple, two home runs, four RBI, 23 total bases, only two strikeouts, four stolen bases, a .920 slugging percentage, and a .560 on-base percentage.
Next up, Van Nostrand. Wow. The senior backstop hit .476 (10-for-21) with five runs, one double, THREE home runs, 10(!) RBI, 20 total bases, three walks, one stolen base, an out-of-this-world .952 slugging percentage, and a .542 on-base percentage. In the three games by them self on Friday, Van Nostrand had seven of those 10 RBI. If the GLVC had had an All-Tournament Team, No. 2 and No. 5 surely would have been headliners for it.
Courtesy: Truman State University