PARKVILLE, Mo. – Lacy Blevins delivered a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and Park University jumped all over Avila University to begin the game with an eight-run first, enabling the Pirates to end things early against the Eagles in a 10-2 win Thursday afternoon at the Park Softball Complex.
Blevins finished the day 3-for-3 with three runs and a pair of RBIs, and three other Pirates came up with two hits, including Jamie Tanno, who helped get things going in the first with a three-run homer to left field in a 2-for-3, three-RBI performance at the plate. Kyla Tatum and Megan Palmer each added two hits, and Taylor Lipps had another two RBIs.
The first-inning burst started when Kalla Jones ripped a double down the left-field line to bring in Callie Beaver, who led off with a single to left center, and Tanno’s home run followed, putting the Pirates on top 4-0. Blevins recorded her first RBI of the day two batters later by doubling in Lindsay Sumner, and Lipps followed with a two-RBI single through the left side, extending the lead to 7-0.
Beaver added another run in her second plate-appearance of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left that brought home Lipps, and the Pirates added another run in the third inning when Palmer singled up the middle, bringing home Blevins from second base.
Avila managed to answer with two runs in the fourth when Jessica Winkelmann’s ground ball brought home Emilee Bickleman, followed by Madison Hughes’ single to center to plate Darah Matheis, cutting Park’s lead to 9-2.
Megan Walker, who picked up the win by scattering five hits through five innings, held the Eagles scoreless in the top of the fifth, enabling Blevins to lift a long fly ball to center field to begin the bottom of the inning that went in and out of the glove of Avila centerfielder Cheyene Crum, who nearly made a home-run saving catch at the wall.
Walker struck out six in the win, evening her record at 1-1, and Jordan Bultmann took the loss for Avila, falling to 0-1 by giving up six of Park’s eight runs in the first, exiting before recording a first-inning out. Linley Tate went the rest of the way for Avila, striking out one with eight hits over four innings, and offensively, Winkelmann and Hughes led the Eagles, combining to go 2-for-4 at the plate, each with an RBI.
Park resumes its season in Arizona next week, beginning with two games Monday night in Tucson. At 6 p.m., Monday, the Pirates square off with Mount Marty College, immediately followed by No. 7 Lubbock Christian University, slated to begin at approximately 8 p.m. In all, the Pirates play 11 games in four days in Arizona, and all 11 games can be followed (live statistics) on the Internet at www.parkathletics.com by clicking on the gameday information square.