Game 1: Evangel 5, MidAmerica Nazarene 1
Game 2: Evangel 5, Baker 0
Record: Evangel (30-20); MidAmerica Nazarene (28-20); Baker 27-25)
Location: St. Joseph, Mo. – Heritage Park
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Evangel softball team was able to shut down both MidAmerica Nazarene and Baker in a 5-1 and a 5-0 win Thursday on the first day of the Heart of America Postseason Softball Tournament.
In game one, Evangel got a solid pitching performance from Michaela Tolliver who scattered four hits and allowed just one run in the win. Tolliver struck out six Pioneers and walked just one to pick up 11th victory of the season.
Offensively, Michelle Sheppard finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs to pace Evangel after both teams were held scoreless through the first four innings.
MNU got on the board first with a run in the top of the fifth but Evangel answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. The Crusaders were able to add insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth pushing across three more runs for the win.
Evangel advances to the second round with a 5-0 shutout of Baker behind a five-hit shutout from Kyra Parker. Parker walked just two as the Crusaders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Evangel added three more runs in the second inning as neither team managed to score over the final five innings.
Cassidy Gillihan led the Crusaders going 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Gillihan recorded the only extra-base hit of the game with a triple as she also scored twice.
Evangel advances to the tournament semifinals Friday to face No. 4 seed Avila at 3 p.m. The winner advances to Saturday's championship game while the loser will head to an elimination game Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
For the latest information on Evangel athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com.