SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel softball team combined timely hitting and solid pitching to sweep Clarke University, 7-2 and 3-2 Friday afternoon in Heart of America Athletic Conference action.
Evangel took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a pair of hits and two Clarke errors. Clarke would pull within a run in the top of the fourth but the Crusaders broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with five runs.
A lead-off single from Arlena Armstrong started the inning and was highlighted by a triple from Michelle Sheppard. Sheppard finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and would score in the inning on a single from Kami Holt.
Lauren Chambers also finished with multiple hits going 2-for-4 with an RBI for Evangel.
Bridget Rippe earned her first collegiate win as she pitched a complete game. Rippe struck out four and walked just one as she scattered seven hits. The two runs allowed were also unearned.
Another outstanding pitching performance helped complete the sweep of Clarke with a 3-2 victory in game two. Abby Emmitt struck out 10 and allowed just four hits over seven innings to earn the win.
The Crusaders took the lead in the second inning as Armstrong again led off with a single and moved to third on an error by the Pride centerfielder. Armstrong scored two batters later on an RBI groundout from AJ Carpenter.
Evangel added another run in the fourth when Carpenter drove in her second RBI on a single up the middle to score Taylor Good. The lead held as Clarke added a run in the top of the fifth inning, but the Pride tied the game in the top of the seventh thanks to an RBI double with two outs.
Sheppard would belt a triple, her second of the day, off the wall in right-center to set up the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh. The first pitch to the next batter skipped by the catcher allowing Sheppard and the Crusaders to walk off with the win.
Evangel plays host to Mount Mercy on Saturday in Heart of America action at Crusader Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.