Softball drops two extra-inning games at home


Ariel Ramirez/Courier Staff

Bailey Montgomery stays focused while batting.

Taylor Jordan, Courier Staff

MACOMB, III. – The Western Illinois softball team (6-14, 0-2) lost a pair of extra-inning affairs to South Dakota (19-15, 2-0) on Saturday afternoon. Western battled during two heartbreaking defeats 4-3 in 12 innings and 3-2 in eight innings in their home and Summit League opener to the Coyotes.

Camille Fowler started the game with a triple to the gap in right centerfield, followed by a one-out single back to Emily Ira on the mound by Alyssa Fernandez. The Purple and Gold trailed 1-0 early, but Payton Abbott responded with a two-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the third inning.

Ira (3-5) got comfortable after the first inning and explored for the complete game victory in the top of the seventh. The Coyotes found a way to fight back with Lauren Wobken’s led off double followed by a hit by pitch. The Leathernecks battled to get the next two outs with runners at first and third. Fowler smacked it right back to Ira, where the throw wasn’t made in time. South Dakota evened the score 2-2. The Coyotes took the lead after Jamie Holsher homered over the center field fence bringing in two more runs.

Western remained hopeful, as they used their two-run magic towards the end of the contest. Alyssa Ealy blasted a lead-off triple and scored on an error by USD. As extra innings came into play, game one ended as Aly Compton popped out in foul territory.

Ira lasted the entire 12 innings, allowing four runs on 15 hits with one walk and nine strikeouts.

The doubleheader continued with the Coyotes grabbing an early advantage in the top of the third, after Holscher hit an RBI sac-fly. The Leathernecks answered right away in the bottom half of the third when Abbott put down a bunt single that plated Ealy.

All tied up (1-1) at the top of the fifth inning until Holscher doubled home Fernandez. WIU battled in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game back up. Kyra Kroll singled and advanced to second on an error to start off the frame. Abby Carlin, who started in the circle for the Leathernecks, had a game-tying single in the left infield making it 2-2.

The Coyotes scored right away after a one-out single to start off extra innings. Fowler provided a two-out single as the go-ahead run crossed home plate. Dustie Durham (8-6) struck out five and walked two. Durham retired the final eight batters she faced to close the game.

Abbott (2-2) was burdened with the loss after Carlin’s six innings of work; she surrendered one run on three hits with a walk.

The series finale will continue-on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Mary Ellen McKee stadium.