Fourth-seeded Wichita State (32-19) hit a pair of home runs, including a two-run blast by Madison Perrigan, and held on for a 3-1 victory over No. 8 seed Loyola University Chicago this afternoon at the Missouri Valley Conference Softball Tournament at Marian Kneer Stadium. The loss ends the Ramblers' season with a 27-26 overall record, the first time they finish over .500 since going 28-19 in 2013.
How It Happened
Wichita State got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when shortstop Laurie Derrico led off with a solo home run over the fence in right center and the Shockers extended their advantage to 3-0 in the bottom of the third thanks to Madison Perrigan's two-run homer to dead center.
Loyola struggled to solve Wichita State starter Katie Malone, who retired the first 12 Ramblers she faced before catcher Katie Kasubke, who has had a great tournament, circled the bases on a blast over the fence in center, to slice the Wichita State lead to 3-1. The roundtripper was Kasubke's second in as many days at the MVC Tournament, giving her five RBIs in a pair of contests.
Jordyn Cordell's double to center to lead off the sixth inning ignited a potential Loyola rally and brought the tying run to the plate, but Malone, who tossed a complete-game four-hitter, was able to retire the next three Ramblers to eliminate the threat.
Loyola mounted one last rally in the seventh, when Kasubke blooped a one-out single to left to bring the tying run to the plate in form of Jamie O'Brien, who promptly doubled over Paige Luellen's head in right field to put the tying run in scoring position. Malone, however, retired the next two hitters to send the Shockers to the semifinal round.
A Look At The Numbers
- Kasubke's fifth-inning homer was her seventh of the season and the sophomore finished the day 2-for-3.
- Cordell's double was just her fifth extra-base hit of the year.
Loyola will welcome back six starting position players, plus two pitchers, for the 2018 season, which will begin in February.