Four different Chadron State College softball players homered on Thursday and 10 hit safely, at least once, as the Eagles downed Black Hills State University in a “home” game for the Yellow Jackets in Chadron.
CSC improved to 8-32, and 7-21 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play, while BHSU fell to 10-22 (8-22 RMAC).
The games were moved to Chadron from Spearfish, South Dakota this week because of freezing temperatures and wind. The same factors hampered the start of the games, scheduled for a noon start on Thursday, which did not begin until around 1:20 p.m. when the wind chill rose to 25 degrees in Chadron.
Both were high scoring games, and the Eagles had to come from behind in both contests. CSC homered four times in game one, including the go-ahead and game-winning runs, to outpace BHSU 8-4 in game one. The second game was back-and-forth with 35 total base hits and five errors, before CSC decided it 14-12 in the seventh inning.
CSC fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the earlier game, with the Yellow Jackets loading the bases and scoring on a passed ball and a walk, batting in the bottom of the inning.
The Eagles tied it in the second on RBI singles from Amaya Ruiz and Chloe Brown. Then they went ahead 4-2 when Jessie Henchenski and Mackenzi Kroll hit the first two homers of the day in the third.
Ruiz’s leadoff solo homer in the fourth proved to be the eventual game winning run, putting CSC up 5-2, and Addison Spears made it 6-4 in the sixth with another solo shot, prompting a pitching change for the Yellow Jackets.
In the seventh, the Eagles added two insurance runs on an RBI single by Allie Mason and a fielding error by the BHSU defense.
Tia Kohl improved in the circle to 3-14 on the season, recording seven strikeouts in four and a third innings. Gabby Russell picked up the first save of the season for the CSC staff.
BHSU’s Crystal Amaral was assessed the loss to fall to 5-11.
Later, the scoreboard lit up to the tune of 26 runs. Someone hit safely for either team in six of seven innings, and CSC batted through the order in the fourth, coming one batter short in three other innings.
Every CSC batter who made a plate appearance had at least one base hit. They all reached base safely at least twice as well, other than Micah Stouffer who had one pinch hit appearance for a two-RBI double.
The lead shifted from 2-0 in the top of the first, to 4-2 in the bottom of the same inning. It went back to 7-6 CSC in the top of the fourth, and 10-7 in the bottom. BHSU led 12-10 entering the seventh inning when CSC plated four on four hits, a pair of passed balls, a BHSU error, and a wild pitch.
Aliyah Rothstein represented the tying run, after she singled, advanced to third on a Henchenski double, and scored on a wild pitch. The go-ahead came on a bizarre dropped infield pop-up where Henchenski took advantage and scored from third.
Mason, who batted 4-for-5 on the day with four RBI and a walk, tacked on the Eagles’ 14th run with an RBI single.
CSC went through four different pitchers in the game, including the pitching debut of freshman Paige Edwards, who was effective for one and two-thirds innings in the middle of the game. Kohl allowed only two hits in the final two decisive innings to earn her fourth win of the year.
Breanne Henricksen received the loss for the Yellow Jackets, falling to 0-3.
The two teams will attempt to line up and resume the four game series with another doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, or whenever the temperature allows.