SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Evangel softball team slugged its way to a pair of run-rule victories Saturday afternoon, 9-1 and 12-4, over Clarke University in the regular season finale.
Evangel capped a 9-1 run-rule win on an RBI double from Michelle Sheppard to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sheppard finished 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs while adding to her record stolen base total when she stole second and third in the same inning.
AJ Carpenter finished 3 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI as she was one of four Crusaders to finished with an extra-base hit. Joining Carpenter and Sheppard, Kami Holt, who went 2 for 3, and Ali Raley who added two RBIs.
Bridget Rippe earned her 11th win of the season as she allowed just one run on six hits. Rippe struck out six and walked none in the win.
The Crusaders broke the game open with seven runs in the second inning to build a 9-1 lead. After both teams added a run in the third, Clarke would score two in the top of the fifth inning to pull within 10-4.
Sheppard again led the way offensively, going 3 for 4 with four runs, an RBI, a triple, and three stolen bases. Sheppard finishes the regular season with 52 stolen bases after breaking the Evangel single-season record on Friday. The senior also now has 143 career stolen bases after breaking the school career record last season.
Kami Holt added three RBIs while going 2 for 2, while DeGonia, Josie Allcock and Taylor Mathis all finished with two hits each. Allcock also joined Raley for the team lead with her third home run of the season in game one.
Abby Emmitt won her 10th game of the year after striking out five and scattering seven hits through five innings.
Evangel will host MidAmerica Nazarene in the first round of the Heart Softball Tournament. The winner will advance to double-elimination basket play in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for tournament play hosted by Mount Mercy University starting Wednesday, May 1.