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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Softball beats ranked team, goes 1-2 in Puerto Vallarta Challenge

Bryan Chavez
Sophomore infielder Siera Hoekstra gets a ground ball during warm-up before an exhibition game against South Dakota State on Oct. 8.

Wichita State’s softball team took on some of the best teams in the nation in Mexico from Wednesday, Feb. 14 to Friday, Feb. 16, in the Puerto Vallarta Challenge. The Shockers went 1-2 during the event.

Wichita State is now 3-2 overall this season.


The Shockers began the event by playing a doubleheader against No. 8 Clemson and No. 25 Auburn on Feb. 14.

Wichita State played Clemson in game one and got shut out in a 7-0 loss.

Junior Alison Cooper started on the mound and pitched a complete game for the Shockers. Cooper gave up seven runs off of nine hits and punched in one strikeout during the game.

The offense could not get the ball rolling as they left eight players on base, with seven hits and a base on balls in the scoreless outing. 

The Shockers nearly etched their name in the win column in game two but lost against Auburn in extra innings, 8-2.

Senior Lauren Howell got the start for the Shockers. She gave up two runs and clocked six strikeouts in 4.1 innings. 

Sophomore Alex Aguilar and freshman Chloe Barber came in Howell’s relief and gave up six combined runs for the remaining 3.2 innings.

Trailing by five runs in the bottom of the seventh and final inning with two outs, redshirt senior Bailey Urban hit a grand slam to bring the deficit back to one run. 

Redshirt senior Lainee Brown reached first base due to a fielding error. Freshman Avery Barnard pinch ran for Brown and advanced home after a wild pitch to complete the comeback for the Shockers, 6-6.

In extra innings, Wichita State went down by two runs. When it was their turn at the plate, the Shockers went three-up, three-down and lost by two.


On day two, the Shockers won its game against No. 20 South Carolina, 6-5. Wichita State needed more fireworks in the final inning to complete its win.

Trailing by three in the top of the seventh, senior Addison Barnard hit a two-RBI single to center field to close the gap to one run, 4-5. 

Urban drove in the winning runs with a double to make the score 6-5.

Aguilar got the start on the mound for Wichita State and was credited with a win, her second of the season. Cooper came in for relief and gave up one run in one inning.

Barber earned her first save of the season as she gave up four runs and struck out eight batters in four innings. Barber struck out the side in the seventh inning to give the Shockers the win.

Wichita State’s game against the University of California, Davis on the final day was canceled due to rain.

As the softball team travels back from Mexico, they will continue their season in the Razorback Challenge from Friday, Feb. 23 to Sunday, Feb. 25. The event will be in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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About the Contributors
Owen Prothro
Owen Prothro, Assistant Sports Editor
Owen Prothro is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. Prothro uses he/him pronouns. This is Prothro's second semester on staff. Prothro is pursuing a degree in journalism and media production. Prothro's dream job is to be an in-the-field reporter for the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Photographer
Bryan Chavez is a first-year photographer for The Sunflower. He is a freshman at Wichita State, majoring in Journalism and Media Production. Chavez is from Dallas, Texas, and wants to pursue a career as a professional sports photographer. Chavez's pronouns are he/him.

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