The Sunflower

Houston takes late lead, evens opening conference series with Wichita State softball

Wichita+State+senior+Laurie+Derrico+runs+home+during+their+game+against+Houston+at+Wilkins+Stadium+on+March+23%2C+2019.
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Houston takes late lead, evens opening conference series with Wichita State softball

Wichita State senior Laurie Derrico runs home during their game against Houston at Wilkins Stadium on March 23, 2019.

Wichita State senior Laurie Derrico runs home during their game against Houston at Wilkins Stadium on March 23, 2019.

Khánh Nguyễn

Wichita State senior Laurie Derrico runs home during their game against Houston at Wilkins Stadium on March 23, 2019.

Khánh Nguyễn

Khánh Nguyễn

Wichita State senior Laurie Derrico runs home during their game against Houston at Wilkins Stadium on March 23, 2019.

A day after winning its conference opener, Wichita State softball dropped the second game of the series losing to the Houston Cougars 5-4 on Saturday.

Wichita State has dropped to a 20-10 record.

The Cougars struck first taking a two-run lead in the first inning. Wichita State helped bail out Houston after Shocker Ryleigh Buck failed to corral a throw from Sydney McKinney. The Cougars added to its lead in the third inning.

Wichita State’s junior Ryleigh Buck runs home after hitting a home run in the game against Kansas at Wilkins Stadium on March 20, 2019.

Madison Perrigan put Wichita State on the board with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Bailee Nickerson brought the Shockers to within two runs after reaching on an error. Ryleigh Buck delivered a two-run home to give Wichita State its first lead of the game.

In the sixth inning, the Shockers put Kasidee Eck on base as a designated runner after Nickerson reached on a walk. Despite her success with two extra base hits earlier in the game, Buck dropped a bunt.

“I have a ton of trust in [my teammates],” Buck said. “I have so much in every hitter that they’re going to do their job and execute.”

Wichita State maintained its one-run lead in the seventh inning with the Cougars having runnings on second and third. Sydney McKinney fielded a sharply hit grounder and got the Cougars’ runner out at home plate. However, the Cougars responded with a two-run single courtesy pinch-hitter Rachel Hill to take a 5-4 lead.

Wichita State’s fan shows up for their game against Houston at Wilkins Stadium on March 23, 2019.

The Shockers couldn’t match in the bottom of the seventh.

Shocker pitcher Erin McDonald only allowed three earned runs.

“I really just trusted my defense,” she said. “I know I got all these players behind me if they put it in play they’re going to make plays for me.”

Wichita State and Houston will compete for the series at noon Sunday.

Wichita State’s sophomore Erin McDonald pitches during their game against Kansas at Wilkins Stadium on March 20, 2019.

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