Kevin White, Director of Athletics Communication
CLERMONT, Fla. – Looks like all the Truman State University softball team needed was 80 degree heat and some time under the sun. Monday, the Bulldogs swept two more opponents to increase their winning streak to five for an 8-1 start, their best in 18 years. Truman walked it off against Sioux Falls, 6-5, before an overpowering win over Southern Connecticut in the nightcap, 12-0, in five innings.
In game one, Rachael Kernich made the start, but was unable to retire a batter as she gave up three runs, two earned, in the top of the first. In the bottom of that inning, Truman’s first run came in when Christa Reisinger scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Two frames later, Alyssa Rivera singled in both Reisinger and Taylor Spencer to tie the score up at 3-3.
Two innings after that, Rivera was at it again with an RBI double down the left field line that brought in Reisinger and the Bulldogs had their first lead of the day. That same inning, Brooke VunCannon scored Rivera with a single to right to give Truman some insurance. However, Sioux Falls didn’t go away and pushed one run across in both the sixth and seventh innings to knot the score up for a second time, 5-5, which set the stage for an exciting home half of the seventh.
Emma Walbert started things up with a single to left before moving up on a passed ball. Rivera then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but was able to reach first on a fielding error by the third baseman, and Walbert advanced to third. After Rivera stole second and Morgan McMahan lined out to the second baseman, Adrienne Compton put down a squeeze bunt, Walbert touched home and the Bulldogs had walked it off.
In relief of Kernich, Lauren Dale went five innings with one earned run allowed and Alyssa Hajduk (3-0) closed it out with two innings and one run given up.
In the nightcap against Southern Connecticut State, it was all Truman from the first pitch. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the first, one in the third, three in the fourth, and five in the fifth. The top four hitters in Truman’s batting order went a combined 8-for-15 (.533 batting average) at the dish and were four of six Bulldogs to finish with two hits in the game.
Dale (4-1) threw the first three innings before giving way to Kernich for the fourth and Hajduk for the fith.
Next up, Truman will finish up play in Florida on Tuesday with IUP at 3:45 p.m. ET and Urbana at 6:00 p.m. ET.