October 7, 2003
Cowley softball runs unbeaten streak to eight games
PITTSBURG - Allowing just four runs in its four games played at the Pittsburg State University Tournament Saturday, the Cowley County Community College softball team picked up three victories and a tie.
The Lady Tigers picked up a pair of wins over Bacone College, (5-0, 3-1), defeated Northeastern Oklahoma (2-0), and tied Pittsburg State (3-3). Cowley has seven wins and one tie in its last eight games to improve to 17-3-1 in its fall schedule.
In its first game against one of Bacone’s two teams at the tournament, Cowley was locked in a scoreless tie with the Lady Warriors after seven innings of play. However, the Lady Tigers erupted for five runs in the top of the eighth to win 5-0.
A throwing error to first on a bunt by freshman Jamie Amerine allowed Angela Meeker to score the first run of the game. Freshman catcher Ashley Dunkelberger followed with a two-run single, and sophomores Nicole Ringwall and Crystal Clay added run-scoring singles in the five-run eighth.
The five runs would be more than enough for sophomore pitcher Lindsey Roby, who tossed a three-hit complete game shutout. Roby was dominant on the mound as she struck out 11 and walked none.
In the second game of the tournament, Cowley met a talented NEO squad that finished just one spot back of the Lady Tigers in last year’s end-of-the-season rankings. The Lady Tigers were ranked fifth, while NEO was ranked sixth.
Once again, Cowley’s pitching was the difference as sophomore Jessica Milligan allowed just three hits and no runs in the Lady Tigers’ 2-0 win over NEO.
Cowley broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth when sophomore outfielder Sarah Pritchard led off with a single, stole second, and came around to score on a one-out single by freshman Amy Howard.
The Lady Tigers added an insurance run with a two-out rally in the top of the sixth. Clay got the rally started with a two-out single, and Roby and Pritchard drew walks to load the bases. Dunkelberger was then hit with a pitch, which forced in Clay from third with the second run of the game.
Milligan struck out six and walked one in picking up the victory.
Cowley head coach Ed Hargrove was pleased with the way his team played in the win over NEO.
“Even though it is just the fall and these games don’t really count, it was good to get that win,” Hargrove said. “NEO is a good team.”
Going up against the other squad from Bacone in the third game of the tournament, Cowley extended its scoreless innings streak to 20, as Roby did not allow a run in her five innings of work.
With Cowley leading 3-0, Hargrove put in freshman pitcher Michelle Sherrill to pitch the sixth. The first batter Sherrill faced greeted her with a home run, ending the Lady Tigers’ scoreless streak at 20 innings. However, Sherrill settled down on the mound and pitched the final six outs to pick up the save in the 3-1 win.
Meeker, Milligan and Roby each had a run batted in.
In its final game of the tournament, Cowley battled host Pittsburg State. The Lady Tigers scored two runs in the first inning to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Milligan looked as if she would make the lead stand up as she kept the Gorillas scoreless through the game’s first five innings of play, but PSU found its bats in the sixth, scoring three runs in the inning, and grabbed a 3-2 lead.
Down to its final out, Cowley got a two-out single from Roby that scored Pritchard from second with the tying run. Pritchard had reached base on a single and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice.
Milligan held the Gorillas scoreless in the bottom of the seventh and the game was declared a tie, due to time concerns as Pittsburg State had another game left to play at the tournament.
Cowley has just one doubleheader left before wrapping up its fall schedule. The Lady Tigers finished with an 18-3 record last fall. The 18 wins were the most of any of Hargrove’s teams in his 19 years as head coach at Cowley, and were used as a springboard to the spring season in which the Lady Tigers won a school-record 53 games.
If Cowley could sweep the doubleheader at Kansas State University Thursday, the Lady Tigers would set a record for wins in the fall. But no matter what, the team’s fall season has been a success.
“Even though it’s just fall ball, last year we had the most successful fall we had ever had and it led to us having the best spring we ever had,” Hargrove said. “Hopefully, this will carry over to the winter workouts and then into the spring season.