Pitching Spurs Cougars to Two Opening Day Victories
ST. PAUL, MN — University of Sioux Falls senior Amanda Walters wasted no time putting her mark on the 2014 softball season as she helped the Cougars claim two victories to open the season on Tuesday. The Cougars downed opponents Valley City State 2-1 and Jamestown 5-2 at the West St. Paul Sports Dome.
Walters opened up the first game of the season on fire as she struck out 13 of the first 16 batters for the Vikings. She also carried a no-hitter through five innings and ended the game with an impressive 18 total strikeouts.
Walters also got the Cougars going offensively as she hit a double in the bottom of the first that brought teammate Erin Scott home to give USF a 1-0 lead.
Haley Keiser helped increase USF’s lead in the second inning when she completed a sacrifice bunt that brought home Kellen Dewey.
The Vikings made things interesting late when Stephanie Lahey brought the game within one point in the bottom of the sixth. However, Amanda Walters showed up again as she struck out four of VCSU’s last eight batters. Walters was credited with her first win of the season.
The second game of the day pitted the Cougars against Jamestown. USF got another solid pitching performance from freshmen Amber Prow who recorded seven punchouts against the Jimmies.
USF’s offense got rolling in the second inning when an Andrea Sheppard-Kauwalu single brought home Shea Hoskins and Amanda Walters to give USF a 2-0 lead. Sheppard-Kauwalu ended the day going 2-for-3 at the plate and bringing home 2 RBI’s. The Cougars bumped their lead up again in the third inning when a long shot by Taylor Jonas brought Erin Scott home.
A Shannon Daly two-run homer in the top of the fifth gave USF some insurance runs late. Daly went 3-of-7 on the day and also recorded one run and 2 RBI’s.
The Jimmies tried made things compelling at the end as they had runners on second and third with only one out. However, a ground out to third base allowed the Cougars to leave the game with a 5-2 victory over Jamestown.
Walters was the key for the Cougars during both games recording 20 total strikeouts and an ERA of 3.00 while pitching 9 innings for USF. She also went 2-of-7 at the plate, scored one run and recorded one RBI.
The Cougars will compete next on Friday February 28 when they travel to Joplin, Mo. to take on Missouri Southern State.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls