MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A bevy of runs, both for and against Northwestern State, led to a second straight two-game split for the Lady Demons on Saturday.
Indiana (19-9) singled its way to a six-run third inning to get an 11-6 win over the Lady Demons to start the day. NSU batted around twice in the first two innings of the finale against Memphis (4-23) in route to a 15-5 run-rule win to close the weekend.
“I’m really proud of the way we came back in that second game,” head coach Donald Pickett said. “We used a lot of arms today pitching wise and they grinded their way through it the best they could, but really proud of our offense stepping up like they did.
“They got us enough runs to be able to win and they never stopped trying to score. We never quit all day today in both games and kept putting pressure on them, getting hits and scoring runs.”
Indiana 11, NSU 6
Down 1-0 going into the third inning, the Lady Demons (14-12) were taken down one base at a time as the Hoosiers had six straight base hits, seven total in the inning, to bring across six runs and take a commanding 7-0 lead.
Two more singles in the fourth made it an 8-0 game and put NSU in danger of a run-rule loss nearing the fifth-inning minimum.
With hits of their own in each of the three previous innings, although nothing to show for them in the runs column, the Demons’ persistence at the plate paid off in the most opportune time. With the bases loaded, thanks to two hit batters and a walk, Laney Roos delivered a game-extending three-run, two-out double that cleared the bases and made it a 10-3 game.
After a solo home run in the top of the seventh, the second of the game for Indiana, made it an 11-3 game, the Demons produced one more late rally in the bottom of the inning.
Makenzie Chaffin drove the first pitch she saw for a double to center field scoring Bailie Ragsdale who started the inning with a bunt single and moving Ross to third. Keely Dubois slapped the second pitch she saw to right for a two-run single before a strikeout ended the game at the 11-6 final.
NSU 15, Memphis 5
The momentum the Demons picked up late against Indiana carried over into the game finale against Memphis with NSU taking the lead three batters into the game.
Taylor Williams doubled to right center and was immediately brought in on a Roos single to center to give NSU the 1-0 lead. Their hits were the first two of five straight for the Demons that included an RBI single from Chaffin and a two-run double from Keely Dubois that made it 4-0, six batters into the night. The Demons totaled seven hits in the first inning, five singles and two doubles.
A three-run home run brought the Tigers back to within a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Demons had an answer, and then some, in the second, thanks to some help from the Tigers.
NSU got four runs on seven hits in the first and flipped the numbers in the second with seven runs on just two hits in the second, drawing five walks in the inning to help push the inning along and the lead even greater, all but one coming with two outs.
After getting the first run of the frame on an error at short, three straight free passes loaded the bases and then added two more runs to the lead making it a 7-3 game. Bailie Ragsdale brought in another on the first hit of the inning, a second error made it 9-3 and Roos busted the game open even further with a two-run double to center.
The Tigers pulled back under the eight-run cutoff with single runs in the second and fourth, but the Demon offense put them to bed for good in the fifth.
Tristin Court picked up an RBI on a ground out to short and three batters later, Ragsdale took the third bases loaded walk of the game to make it 13-5 NSU. Roos and Kat Marshall followed with run-scoring singles of their own giving more than enough runs to force the run-rule into effect.
NSU had its most runs and hits in a game this season, with 17 hits the most since pounding 21 in a game at Lamar two years ago. The Demons scored 17 runs on 25 hits across both games on Saturday. Roos finished the day with four hits and eight RBI and Dubois and Ashlyn Walker each had four or more hits on the day.
“I think we took a step forward this week offensively and showed what we’re capable of doing,” Pickett said. “We came into the weekend wanting to be a better team by the end of it and I think we accomplished that.
Photo Credit: Evelyn Winger