BIG SPRINGS, Texas -- The Western Nebraska Community College softball team faced No. 11 Howard College Wednesday in Big Springs, Texas, and competed tooth and nail. In the end, the number 11 team in the NJCAA pre-season polls was just a clutch hit better than the Cougars in earning the doubleheader sweep.
The first game saw WNCC outhit Howard 13-12 with the Cougars getting a pair of home runs from Emma Glawson before falling in the bottom of the seventh when Howard scored three times for the 9-8 win.
The second game saw each team finish with seven hits, but Howard scored three late runs to earn the 6-3 win.
The two squads will face off with one another in a doubleheader on Thursday.
The first game was a battle between two offenses that combined for 25 hits and five home runs.
WNCC had three of those round-trippers, two from the bat of freshman Emma Glawson.
WNCC got behind the eight-ball quickly as Howard jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings. That was when the WNCC bats came alive. Glawson got WNCC on the board with a lead-off home run in the third.
The Cougars then went ahead 6-4 with five runs in the fourth. Michaela Kelly started the inning with a single and then scored on a Hannah Baesler home run to cut the lead to 4-3. After Emma McMillan singled, Glawson delivered a 2-out, 2-run home run to put the Cougars on top 5-4. Emma Flynn scored another run to put WNCC up 6-4.
Howard knotted the score in the bottom of the fourth at 6-6. WNCC went up 8-6 with two in the sixth on a 2-out double by Kelly to score Hogan and Lindsey Allie. Howard won the contest with three runs in the seventh, scoring the winning run with two outs.
WNCC finished with 13 hits in the game. Kelly led the team with three hits, including a double, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Hogan, Baesler, McMIllan, and Glawson all had two hits for the Cougars. Glawson had two home runs, three RBIs, and two runs scored, while McMillan had a double with a run scored. Baesler had a home run with two RBIs and a run scored, while Hogan had a double and run scored.
The second game saw WNCC score once in the first before Howard came back with three in the first for a 3-1 lead. The Cougars tied the game in the third when Hogan delivered a 2-run home run to centerfield.
Howard came back with two runs in the fourth and a single run in the sixth for the 6-3 win.
Hogan and Mickie Mills each had two hits for the Cougars. Hogan had a home run with two runs scored and two RBIs. Mills had a double.
WNCC 001 502 0 – 8 13 1
Howard 220 200 3 – 9 12 3
LP – Emma McMillan
WNCC (2-2) 102 000 0 – 3 7 1
Howard (3-3) 300 201 x – 6 7 0
LP – Mickie Mills
2B – Mickie Mills
HR --- Sidnee Hogan