ARLINGTON, Texas (GOSHOCKERS)- The Wichita State softball team split the final day of the Maverick Invitational, falling to Prairie View A&M and ending with a win over Abilene Christian on Sunday afternoon.
Bailee Nickerson hit two home runs on the day and drove in four RBIs in the doubleheader, scoring the go-ahead run off a double in extra innings. Caitlin Bingham pitched a career-high nine innings against ACU, striking out 10 batters to tie her career-high.
Prairie View A&M started the game with two singles and looked to strike first, but two strikeouts from Erin McDonald retired the side. After forcing the Lady Panthers into another shutout inning, the Shockers jumped on the lead.
Following a walk by Neleigh Herring, Nickerson came up with a home run to left center that put the Shockers ahead by two in the bottom of the second. Prairie View responded with a solo home run to left field a half-inning later that cut the lead to one.
The Lady Panthers capitalized off a Shocker error, hitting another home run that swung the lead over to Prairie View. Continuing the hitting clinic with a single to center field, Prairie View came up with its third home run of the inning and pushed the lead to 5-2.
Wichita State tried to answer back in the bottom of the third, getting runners on first and second off a single from Sydney McKinneyand a walk from Madison Perrigan. The Shockers managed to get the bases loaded, but Prairie View forced a two-out pop up to end the inning with no damage to its lead.
Prairie View A&M managed to get the bases loaded again, getting runners off a single, hit by pitch and a Shocker error. Bingham kept the deficit in check, collecting a strikeout to leave the Lady Panther runners stranded.
The Shockers forced Prairie View into four consecutive shutout innings and looked to string runs together in the last half-inning. Wichita State drew a walk, but three putouts allowed Prairie View to come away with the victory.
Abilene Christian managed to get a runner in scoring position in the top of the second inning, coming up with a left field double. Bingham prevented the go-ahead run, forcing two strikeouts and a groundout to herself that retired the side and kept the score knotted at zero.
Wylie Glover collected the first hit of the game for the Shockers in the top of the third, but ACU prevented any more damage after the third baseman came up with a lineout and threw Glover out at first. Singles by McKinney and Ryleigh Buck gave Wichita State offensive momentum in the top of the fourth, but a groundout to third base turned into another double play for ACU and forced the Shockers into its fourth consecutive shutout inning.
Nickerson got the Shockers on the board in the bottom of the fourth, hitting her second consecutive home run of the day that put Wichita State ahead 1-0. ACU tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, scoring off a throwing error by the Shockers.
Following a scoreless inning from Wichita State in the top of the seventh, Bingham came up with her 10th strikeout of the game and forced two putouts to swing the game into extra innings. After Glover was placed on first, Lauren Mills brought in the go-ahead run with an RBI single to right field.
With an ACU runner placed on second base in the bottom of the eighth, the Wildcats tied the game off a sacrifice fly to right field. Nickerson came up with a right center double that gave the Shockers the lead in the top of the ninth, but ACU drew two walks to load the bases with one out.
The Shockers, however, managed to get the force out at home plate and tagging the runner out at third to end the game with the one-run advantage.
Wichita State (10-4) continues non-conference action at the Coach B Classic in Carbondale, Ill. The Shockers begin play on Friday at 10 a.m., starting with Murray State followed by a matchup against Saint Louis.