Softball Splits at Avila to Keep South Division Lead

Softball Splits at Avila to Keep South Division Lead

The Basics

Game 1: Evangel 2, Avila 3

Game 2: Evangel 4, Avila 0

Records: Evangel (28-18, 22-12 Heart); Avila (30-20, 21-13 Heart)

Location: Kansas City, Mo. – The Zarda Complex

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Evangel University softball team held its one game lead over Avila in the Heart South Division after a split Tuesday with the Eagles, falling in game one, 3-2, before posting a 4-0 shutout in game two.

The Crusaders now control their own path to a Heart South Division Championship with four games left in the regular season. Next week's championship seeding, however, is based on conference winning percentage regardless of division. Evangel currently sits third with a .647 percentage while Grand View holds a .794 mark and Clarke sits at a .765 percentage.

In game one, the Evangel offense was held mostly in check through the first six innings. Avila scored its first run on a Kaycee Dexter home run in the second and added another in the fourth.

The Eagles pushed a needed insurance run across the board in the bottom of the sixth as the Crusaders answered with a two-run rally in the top of the seventh. However, Avila starter Kayleigh Behymer, stopped Evangel handing Michaela Tolliver the loss. Tolliver scattered nine hits and did not allow a walk while striking out two.

Megan Washam paced the Crusaders finishing 2-for-4 with two RBIs as the top and middle of the Evangel lineup accounted for all six hits.

In the second game, Evangel got not just a solid pitching performance but much needed offense as well. The Crusaders scored a run early in the second inning and added two more in the fifth before a fourth run in the top of the seventh.

Cassidy Gillihan doubled in the fifth to finish 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Caitlin Buckalew and Taylor Kister also tallied two hits as the group combined for five of Evangel's seven hits.

Kyra Parker won her 15th game of the season to improve to 15-8 and move into a tie for ninth most wins in a single-season. Parker earned her sixth shutout of the season after tossing a two-hitter, striking out three and walking none.

Evangel returns home for its final two series of the regular season Friday and Saturday. The Crusaders host Baker Friday as first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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