Northwest softball was able to collect a pair of wins in an afternoon doubleheader for the third time this season against Southwest Baptist at Bearcat Softball Field April 15.
The Bearcats, wearing green and white, swept Southwest Baptist in the Battle of the Bearcats, 9-7 and 5-1.
Game 1 followed a similar script to what Northwest had done all year. The ‘Cats got off to an early 6-0 lead thanks to home runs from freshman catcher Ady Watts, freshman infielder Olivia Daugherty and back-to-back shots from sophomore utility Sydne Brashear and junior infielder Karli Allen.
Northwest added one more run to its lead before the home squad watched its lead disappear in the top of the sixth and seventh innings. Southwest Baptist scored one in the sixth, and six in the seventh to knot the score up 7-7.
The tie was short-lived as junior infielder Kaitlyn Weis stepped to the plate with senior outfielder Jaedra Moses standing on second. Weis then lifted a pitch over the right-field fence to end the game and the Bearcats’ eight-game losing skid.
As a team, Northwest hit six homers in the first game of the set. That was good for the most home runs in a single game record. The previous record was set Feb. 25, 2006, when the ‘Cats launched five against Central Missouri.
Watts said the thought didn’t enter anyone's mind that the record was broken.
“We had no idea,” Watts said. “I’m still sure some of them do not even know right now, but I’m sure they feel the same as I do when I say it feels freaking great.”
In Game 2, Northwest got off to a hot start scoring three runs in the home half of the third and then two more during its next turn at the plate to go up 5-0. Southwest Baptist scored one in the fifth to make the score 5-1, which proved to be the final.
Sophomore pitcher Regan Thompson threw seven complete frames, striking out five while allowing one walk and one run. The outing against Southwest Baptist was the third time Thompson has thrown a complete game this season.
“I've been in situations this season where my team has needed me to complete the game and was unable to perform,” Thompson said. “Yesterday (April 15), I just really wanted to finish, and that was one of my goals going into it, so it feels good to accomplish that.”
Thompson collected her fifth win of the season as she moved to 5-10. Going into the final game of the series, the sophomore pitcher said she had a feeling her stuff would be effective.
“I try to warm up at the same pace and same speed before every game,” Thompson said. “My routine doesn't vary much. Some teams that we face hit movement better than others, while some hit speed better. I thought I had a good shot against their bats from what I saw from them the first game. Our bats were on and my defense had my back.”
With the doubleheader wins, Northwest is undefeated in six games at its home field and will look to continue that trend as the remaining six games of the season will be played at Bearcat Softball Field.
“It definitely helps our team’s confidence,” Thompson said. “We're undefeated at home. When you practice every day on your home field, it gives you a sense of comfort knowing every inch of the field.”
With the next game for the ‘Cats being April 23, the extended layoff provides time for the team to prepare for the remaining schedule and push for the postseason.
“We are still practicing like we have a game the next day,” Watts said. “These next few games mean so much to us, and we will continue to put in the work in the cages and on the field just as before.”