Marshalltown, IA—A pair of one-run ballgames went to the Marshalltown Community College softball team in the Tigers' home-opening doubleheader against Ellsworth Community College on Monday afternoon. MCC held on for a 9-8 win in game one and won game two 7-6 with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman Dion Shirley (Van Meter, IA/Van Meter) went 4-4 with three runs in game one and sophomore Josie Carpenter (Wapello, IA/Wapello) delivered a late home run in game two to lift the Tigers over the Panthers in Monday's cross-division matchup. Sophomore Jordan Carter (Sigourney, IA/Sigourney) earned the save in game one before twirling a complete game victory in game two.
MCC plated two runs in the bottom of the first of game one as Courtney Fudge (Pleasant Hill, IA/Des Moines East) and Shirley crossed home for an early 2-1 lead for the Tigers. Fudge added an RBI single in the second inning to score Lexie Valentine (Des Moines, IA/Saydel).
Ellsworth rallied for two runs in the top of the third to tie the game at three before the Tigers turned to leading hitter Shaena Robinson (Gardnerville, NV/Douglas) who drove a pitch to straight-away center for a two-run home run in the third.
The lead was short-lived as Ellsworth added two runs in the fourth to once again tie the game. After a four-run sixth inning from the Tigers, MCC looked in control until Ellsworth threatened in the top of the seventh. The first four batters reached base and the Panthers pulled within one, but Carter took over and shut down the visitors with three-straight outs to preserve the win.
Paige Taylor (Coquitlam, British Columbia/Terry Fox) earned her fifth win in the circle after going six innings with three strikeouts. Fudge collected a pair of hits in the win.
The Tigers fell behind 4-0 through the first two and a half innings of game two, but an RBI single from Robinson and two runs on an error brought MCC back within striking distance. Shirley tied the game at four with a run-scoring single in the fourth before Carpenter connected on her first-career home run in the fifth, a two-run shot to put MCC on top.
Ellsworth once again fought its way back to tie the game at six in the sixth inning. Carter tossed a scoreless seventh, leaving two runners stranded in scoring position to give MCC a chance to win it in the home half. Tess Cheetham (Oceanside, CA/Oceanside) ripped a leadoff double to left center to open up the frame. Pinch runner Lexy Gatewood (Eagle Grove, IA/Clarion-Goldfield-Dows) advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a throwing error on Annalee Myers' (Ames, IA/Ames) fielder's choice for the game-winning run.
Along with striking out six batters in the complete game, Carter went 2-3 at the plate with two runs scored. Shirley and Cheetham each added two hits for the Tigers.
MCC hosts North Iowa Area Community College for a cross-division doubleheader at 3:00 PM on Thursday afternoon.
A couple of big time performances today helped the Tigers sweep Ellsworth in our home opener! pic.twitter.com/v9TBCdt0cH— MCC Tiger Softball (@MCCTigers_SB) March 21, 2017