McPherson, KS - The Hastings College softball team opened up the McPherson Tournament with two day one victories defeating York 3-2 and then defeated Friends 7-5 in nine innings on Thursday.
With Sarah Barger (FR/Windsor, CO) holding the Panther bats in check for most of the game, Hastings was able to get some momentum going in the bottom of the 6th as Cara Williams (SR/Omaha, NE) got things started with a single following a walk to Corrin Ziepke (JR/Omaha, NE).
Taylor Asche (FR/Omaha, NE) would bring home pinch runner Haleigh Cunningham (FR/St. Paul, NE) with a single to make it 2-1. Following a walk to Mikaelah Molifua (SR/Lincoln, NE) to load the bases, Makana Kekaulike (JR/Waipahu, HI) would also draw a walk forcing in Williams to make it 3-1.
York would scratch one run home in the top of the 7th but then Barger slammed the door as Hastings held on the for 3-2 victory.
Lexie Linderman (FR/Omaha, NE) finished the game going 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Barger pitched a complete game 7.0 innings giving up two earned runs while scattering seven hits and striking out three.
Game two would not go as quickly as extra innings would be needed to decide the outcome between the Lady Broncos and Friends.
Hastings would get a brief lead in the top of the 3rd as Williams would reach safely with a bunt single and would advance to second on a Chloe Boeka (SR/Gretna, NE) sacrifice bunt.
Ziepke then ripped a double over the right fielders head to plate Williams as Hastings trailed 2-1 at this point. Linderman continued her torrid pace at the plate as she would single home Ziepke to tie the game 2-2.
Later in the inning, Josie Bumgardner (SO/Hastings, NE) picked up a huge two out single to score Linderman as Hastings led 3-2.
Friends would get two runs back in the bottom of the 4th to lead 4-3 and that lead would hold until the 7th.
Just like the 3rd, Williams led-off with a single and would advance to second on a Boeka sacrifice bunt. Ziepke this time double down the left field line to score Williams to tie the game 4-4 forcing extra innings.
Both teams traded runs in the 8th the game would go to the 9th. Williams would reach base on another bunt single and with the international rule in play, Alex Schmidt (SO/Hastings, NE) advanced to third with no outs.
Boeka stepped up and singled to left to plate Schmidt giving Hastings the 6-5 lead. Two batters later, Linderman struck again with a single to left as Williams scored from second to make it 7-5.
Bumgardner now having pitched 8.0 innings took the mound trying to protect the two run lead. After a lead-off single putting runners on first and third with no outs, Bumgardner got Casady Marlnee to strikeout, Lacey Hudson to pop out to second and Sara Gonzalez to strikeout ending the game.
Bumgardner's complete game effort did not go unnoticed as she fanned 11 Falcons while giving up four runs on four hits.
Linderman led the way at the plate going 4-for-5 with two RBIs while Ziepke and Williams each finished with two hits a piece.
Hastings improves to 8-9 and will be back in action Friday Mar. 10 taking part in day two of the McPherson Tournament beginning the day against Kansas Wesleyan with first pitch set for noon in McPherson, KS.