Softball sweeps Houston in weekend series


Nithin Reddy Nagapur

Senior Neleigh Herring celebrates after hitting a home run against Tulsa at Wilkins Stadium on April 2.

Wichita State Softball improved its conference record to 7-2, after picking up a clean sweep against the Houston Cougars. The Shocker has now swept two out of three conference series thus far.

In the series opener, freshman Allison Cooper delivered another strong start for the Shockers. Cooper pitched the entire six inning game securing a game one victory with four strikeouts, one run and two hits. Cooper improved her record to 6-2 on the season with the win.

Junior Zoe Jones led the Shockers, bringing in three runs and scoring twice, to go along with her 10th homer of the season. Sophomore Addison Barnard also recorded her 50th RBI of the season with a two-run double.

The Shockers picked up three runs in the first, one run in the fourth and finished just as strong as they started with six runs leading to a 10-1 victory. 

In game two of the series, senior Sydney McKinney was the answer the Shockers needed.

Starting strong, WSU picked up an early lead with a leadoff home run from McKinney over right field. Barnard followed McKinney’s lead with a single and a stolen base before crossing home on sophomore Lauren Lucas’ RBI double.

After collecting one more run at the top of the third, the Cougars broke their scoring drought with one run at the bottom of the third. Houston tightened the score with two more runs tallied at the bottom of the fourth.

With the game tied 3-3, both teams went scoreless for three innings, until the Shockers four run frame. Senior Neleigh Herring started the inning with a double before being driven in on freshman Jessica Garcia’s RBI single. With a pinch-hit sacrifice fly from Cassie Passwaters, WSU took a 5-3 advantage. With the final run of the night, McKinney slammed her second homer of the night over the center field wall, helping to secure the 7-5 win. 

Finishing game three, the Shockers collected five homers. With two home runs from Barnard, the sophomore collected her second consecutive 20 homer season, becoming the first Shocker with multiple seasons with at least 20 home runs. She is also the first ever 20-20 season in school history with over 20 home runs and over 20 stolen bases in one season.

Houston picked up their first lead of the series off of an RBI in the first. After battling for five innings, the Shockers proved victorious with three runs in the fifth changing the score 7-5. Houston picked up one final run in the seventh, but could not catch up to the Shockers, ending the day 7-6.

Up next, the Shockers take on Kansas at Eck Stadium on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6 pm.