Kansas Wesleyan played Ottawa on nearly even terms in both of their Kansas Conference softball games Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough against the No. 21-ranked team in the NAIA.
Big innings late in both contests were the difference as Ottawa swept the doubleheader 8-0 and 14-5 in eight innings at Salina South High School.
The Braves scored five runs in the sixth inning of the opener in winning by the run rule then pulled away with 10 runs in the eighth inning of the nightcap after KWU had pulled even in dramatic style in the bottom of the seventh.
The losses dropped the Coyotes to 16-18 overall and 9-11 in the KCAC; Ottawa improved to 33-5 and 18-2.
The second game was a cliffhanger for seven innings. KWU took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Carmen Angulo (JR/Long Beach, Calif.) singled in Brianna McGinnis (JR/Tucson, Ariz.) and Paige Anderson (SO/Lakeville, Minn.) followed with an RBI single that scored Paige Welk (JR/Laguna Niguel, Calif.), who had walked while pinch hitting for Miranda Guerrero (SO/Oxnard, Calif.).
The Coyotes made it 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth when Guerrero’s bases-loaded single scored Sydney Brown (JR/Tucson, Ariz.). Ottawa, though, answered with four unearned runs in the top of the sixth – the first three scoring directly on two KWU errors.
Wesleyan tied it with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when McGinnis hit a solo homer to left that sent the game into extra innings.
The Braves took control in the top of the eighth with 10 runs on eight hits, two of them homers, and two more Coyote errors. KWU scored its final run in the bottom of the eighth when Angulo’s double scored Guerrero.
Wesleyan had 13 hits in the game, three by Anderson while Jessica Vegely (SR/Mariposa, Calif.), Bailey Rivas (FR/West Covina, Calif.), McGinnis and Angulo each had two. Ottawa totaled 16 hits in the game.
Valaree Reyes (JR/Round Rock, Texas) took the loss, pitching six innings in relief of Angulo, who pitched the first two innings. Reyes allowed four runs, all unearned, on six hits through her first five innings of work before running out of gas in the eighth.
The opener was pitching duel between Angulo and Ottawa starter Casson Rasmussen for the first five innings.
Ottawa scored single runs in the first, third and fourth innings – the last two on solo homers – and led 3-0 going into the sixth inning. The Coyotes loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth but couldn’t score and also stranded two base runners in the second.
The Braves broke the game open with five runs in the sixth on the strength of three more homers – the biggest a three-run blast by Allison Kearney. Ottawa batters hit four solo homers in the game.
KWU finished with four hits, Lauren Blue (SR/Arlington, Texas) and Angulo with two apiece. Blue reached base all three times – the third on a walk in the fifth inning.
Angulo took the loss allowing eight runs on 12 hits with six strikeouts and four walks. Rasmussen struck out six and walked one.
The Coyotes are back in action Saturday when they play Oklahoma Wesleyan in KCAC doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. in Bartlesville, Okla.