SALEM, Va. -- Southeastern Oklahoma faced elimination for the second time on Saturday, but once again the Savage Storm made the plays it needed to keep its postseason run alive, topping Armstrong Atlantic 9-3.
The Storm offense turned in 11 hits on the game and turned in its most runs since downing Augustana 13-12 in Game 1 of the Super Regional last weekend, scoring nine, including an offensive explosion of five runs in the bottom of the sixth to bury Armstrong Atlantic.
Laramie Beal and Courtney Riddle each turned in a pair of hits, with Beal connecting on her 11th home run on the season and driving in three, while Riddle added a pair of RBI. Jessica Simmons, Lacie Cook, Sydney Kramer, Haley Strawn, Arianna Jones, Lauren Renneker and Conner Harmon each collected a hit in the game. Cook, Jones and Renneker each added an RBI as well.In the circle, Shayna Milam got the start and tossed 3.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with one strikeout. Mindy McElroy came on in relief and tossed the final 4.0 innings and scattered a run on two hits with one K.
Milam put the two-hole hitter on in the top of the first inning, but escaped the inning unscathed. Simmons then led off the bottom half with a single chopped over the head of the third baseman and followed by stealing second. She moved to third on a Cook sac bunt and scored two batters later on a Beal sac fly to left to take a 1-0 lead. However, the lead did not last long as the Pirate's Hannah Reppert connected on a solo homer to lead off the top of the second inning and knot the score at 1-1.
The deficit extended to 2-0 in the top of the third inning on a solo homer by Alexis Mercer, and AASU pushed its edge to 3-1 when Haley Ellis singled home Reppert in the top of the fourth inning. The Storm answered in the bottom of the fourth, with Beal collecting a one-out single followed by a double off the bat of Strawn.
Riddle would then tie the game with a single up the middle to plate both runners and advanced to second on the throw. She would come around to score the go-ahead run one batter later when Jones drove the ball into the right-center gap for her first triple of the season, putting SE up 4-3. SE put runners on in the fifth but did not score, but Kramer opened the bottom of the sixth with a single through the left side and scored one batter later when Beal connected on her 11th home run of the season, sending it sailing over the right field wall for a 6-3 lead.
The Storm was not finished though as Strawn drew a walk and moved to third on a Riddle double. Jacee Bennett came on to run for Riddle at second, and Jones then reached on an error by the Armstrong pitcher which allowed Strawn to score and stretch the lead to 7-3.
Renneker then followed with an RBI single to plate Bennett, and three batters later Cook would drive in the final run with a two-out single down the left field line that score Jones from second to make the score 9-3.
That score would hold as McElroy and the SE defense retired the final eight AASU batters in order going back to the fifth inning to preserve the win.