COWETA – Connors State pounded out 13 base hits, including four home runs in run-ruling Western State 10-2 Friday in the opening round of the Region II Softball Tournament.
Cowgirls will now take a 37-15 record into Saturday’s winner bracket against No. 2 seed Northeastern A&M. NEO advanced by defeating Rose State 2-1. In other first round game top seed Seminole State stopped NOC-Tonkawa in five innings 11-3 and NOC-Enid defeated Eastern State 3-0. NOC-Enid and Seminole will play at noon.
It was Connors fourth win of the season against Western State as Kristen Reasnor took the win inside the circle. Reasnor is now 15-8, as she tossed a three hitter and struck out two while walking four. Reasnor was aided by four double plays by the Cowgirls defense.
“We came out swinging the bats, hitting four bombs and then four double plays which really helped,” said head coach Rick Carbone. “We settled down our pitching after the first inning and then just played really well.”
Western struck early taking a 2-0 lead on a 2-run home run over the left center field wall by Bailee Kadeska in the first inning. Her blast scored Malosi Moss, who had reached on an infield hit off the glove of Cowgirls’ Reasnor.
However, the 2-0 lead was cut to 2-1 in the Cowgirls half of the first, when Taylor Canida ripped a shot to right field that scored Sammy Perry, who singled to left field to being the inning. Perry had reached second base when Kali Romine’s ground ball was mishandled by the Pioneers’ shortstop.
Cowgirls tied the game at 2-2 in the last of the second when Amanda O’Neal scored on Western error by the shortstop, who let Perry ground ball bounce off her glove into left field. O’Neal opened the inning with a double off the left field fence.
Connors had an opportunity to take the lead in the second; however Perry was thrown out at the plate on Romine’s double to the left center field wall.
Connors used back-to-back home runs to take a 5-2 lead in the third inning. Drew established a school record for homers with her 16th home run. The sophomore’s blast cleared the left field fence scoring Canida, who opened the inning with a double to left field for a 4-2 Cowgirls advantage.
“I got the pitch I wanted ,” said Drew. “I was inside and that’s my favorite. It felt really good off the bat. I knew it was out.”
Taylor Purdue then launched her 8th homer of the season, giving Connors a 5-2 lead.
The Cowgirls continued to blast the long ball as Kali Romine and Reasnor each connected for solo home runs in the fourth to give the Connors a 7-2 advantage. It was Reasnor’s 13th home run of the season and Romine’s third.
Connors put the game away in the fifth inning with a 3-run burst for a 10-2 advantage. Cowgirls pounded out three more hits with Purdue, Erin Isham and Reeve scoring. The big blow was a 2-run producing double by Amanda O’Neal.