No. 5 Rogers State (20-2, 2-0 MIAA) took both games of the home opening and MIAA opening doubleheader against Northeastern State (12-11, 0-2 MIAA) on Thursday.
GAME ONE – RSU 6, NSU 2
In the first game of the day, the Hillcats wasted no time getting on the board as they took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jaylan Gibson brought in Chelsea Spain for the first run of the game on a RBI single through the right side of the infield.
The RiverHawks answered back in the top of the second to tie things at 1-1. The run scored on a solo home run to straight away center field. RSU retook the lead 2-1 in the bottom half as Makayla Bowman scored during a rundown between first and second.
NSU once again tied things at 2-2 in the top of the second. A RBI double to right brought in the tying run.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Hillcats pushed back out to a 4-2 lead with two runs. Abbey Rogers put RSU back in front with a two-run blast to left that plated Spain. They added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth as Elexis Watson joined the party with a two-run bomb of her own to left center, scoring Marissa Smith.
Andrea Morales (12-1) earned the complete game win with seven strikeouts. Gail Young (5-3) took the loss.
GAME TWO – RSU 3, NSU 2
The second game began as a pitcher’s duel with both starters working three scoreless frames to open the game.
The RiverHawks got on the board first with a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. A RBI fielder’s choice scored the run. The Hillcats answered with three runs in the bottom half to take the lead 3-1. Bridgett Morales plated Marissa Smith and Rebecca Bell with a two RBI single to right center. Morales later crossed home on a Callie Yellin RBI single to right.
NSU tried to make things interesting in the top of the seventh as back to back singles put a runner on third with the tying run at the plate. A RBI single brought the RiverHawks within one run at 3-2. With one out, Andrea Morales went to the circle for the second time in the day and slammed the door for the final two outs.
M’Kayla Hillman (5-1) earned the win with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings, and Morales (1) earned her first save of the season. Savannah Evans (2-7) took the loss.
The Hillcats will be back in action on Tuesday, March 22, as they travel to Weatherford, Okla. for a non-conference doubleheader against Southwestern Oklahoma State. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
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