Softball bests Drake, sweeps first MVC weekend


Selena Favela

Junior Mackenzie Wright cheers as she races to home base to score against Drake.

Wichita State softball bested Drake and swept the first weekend of Missouri Valley Conference play, defeating the Bulldogs 8-4 Sunday.

Wichita State started strong in the first, junior Mackenzie Wright leading off with a double. A sacrifice bunt from middle infielder Kelli Spring and a single from middle infielder Laurie Derrico were enough for the Shockers to take an early 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Mauriana Jamele hit a single to start off the second. Centerfielder Ashley Johnson then tripled with an RBI, followed by a double with an RBI by Adams, adding up to a 3-0 Shocker lead.

The Shockers’ defense began to lose its footing in the third inning, allowing two Bulldogs runs.

A home run from outfielder Paige Luellen in the fourth put the Shockers back up 4-2.

The Shockers’ defense fell face-first in the fifth, allowing two runs on two errors.

Wichita State bounced back, scoring two in the fifth on singles from Wright, Spring and Derrico and two in the sixth.

A foul-out to Jamele ended the game, giving Wichita State the 8-4 win.

Derrico led the game with three hits and three RBIs, followed by Wright with two hits and three runs.

Pitcher Katie Malone threw all seven innings. She said the Shockers “took it to ‘em the entire weekend.”

The only thing the Shockers need to work on, she said, is defense. The Shockers’ greatest foe Sunday was themselves, all four of the Bulldogs’ runs scored on errors.

Malone said the team’s confidence, despite their errors, showed their resilience firsthand.

“We came back and showed them that’s not who we are.

“We can come back from anything.”

Outfielder Ashley Johnson, who missed a pop fly in the fifth, said she wasn’t worried about her or anyone else’s errors.

“You make an error, your teammates are going to pick you up.”

Malone said the weekend should be a reminder of Wichita State’s dominance.

“We wanted to show everyone in the conference that we should be No 1.”

The Shockers are 15-10 on the season and are 3-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Shockers host Nebraska Monday.