ST. CHARLES. Mo. – The Park University softball team swept Lindenwood University-Belleville in the quarterfinal round of the American Midwest Conference Championship. The Pirates (22-17) beat the Lynx (41-16) 2-1 in game one and 4-3 in game two.
In game one, the Lynx' Amanda Velasquez stole for home to score the first run of the game, in the bottom of the first inning. Shelby Bendure hit a double to deep left-center field, to bring in Mallory Land to the tie the game up 1-1, in the top of the fourth inning. Hailey Costello came up to bat for Park, hitting a double to deep center-field, to knock in Bendure. At the end of the fourth inning, the Pirates led the Lynx 2-1.
Bendure pitched for the Pirates' defense for the full game, striking out four batters, giving up four hits and one earned run. She picked up the win for Park in the circle. The Lynx' Taylor Winn was in the circle, striking out three batters, giving up three hits and one earned run. She got the loss in the circle for Lindenwood-Belleville's defense.
Scotlin Hurley and Winn had a pitching duel through the first four innings, of the second game. The Lynx' offense struck first in the top of fifth inning, when Melissa Martineck hit a double deep down the left-field line. Martineck's double was able to bring in her teammate, Katie Deluka, for the first run of game. A couple batters later, Payton Curtis hit a single to right-field, to bat in Martineck. Heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Lynx led the Pirates 2-0. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Hurley stole home to score the Pirates first run of the game. Heading into the top of the sixth inning, Lindenwood-Belleville led Park 2-1.
The Lynx' Velasquez hit a single to shallow left-center, to knock in her teammate, Lexi Law, for a run. At the end of the sixth inning, the Lynx led the Pirates 3-1. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Brooke Kunkel reached base due to Riley Wells' dropped fly ball. Due to Wells' error, Justice Scales was able to score, for the Pirates to trail 3-2. Land was next to bat for Park, hitting a single to shallow right, to knock Hurley in, to tie the game up 3-3. Bendure hit the walk-off single, to bring in Kunkel, for the Pirates to win game two 4-3.
Winn pitched 6.2 innings, striking out three batters, giving up six hits and two earned runs. She got the loss in the circle for Lindenwood-Belleville's defense. Hurley pitched 7.0 innings, striking out two batters, giving up eight hits and three earned runs. Hurley got the win in the circle for Park's defense.
The Pirates will head to Henderson, Tennessee, to compete at the final site of the AMC Championship. The final site will be a double-elimination bracket with four games scheduled for May 4 and up to three slated for May 5. Check www.parkathletics.com to find out more information about the final site games.