Fulton, Mo., April 24, 2021 – The Blue Jay softball team needed a win on Saturday. The Blue Jays dropped game one of a double header 3-0 Saturday against the Iowa Wesleyan University Tigers marking their third straight loss in conference play. The Jays were hit by the injury bug this week and needed their third baseman Brooklyn Bledsoe to step up and pitch game two. The spark plug personality of Bledsoe and her do anything for the team attitude payed off for the Blue Jays as she would pitch and hit the Jays to an important 8-2 win to earn the split.
Game 1 BOXSCORE
Game one was a pitcher's duel that pitched the Blue Jays Katie Price and the Tigers Morgan Christner would duel scoreless through four innings. Price faced one over the minimum through the first four innings and Christner was just as good as they both kept the offenses off balance.
The Tigers would touch Price for their first run in the top of the 5th inning when they came through with a two out base hit to score a run for a 1-0 lead. The Tigers would strike for two more runs in the 6th inning when another RBI single and a sacrifice fly would make it 3-0. The Jays just couldn't solve Christner and fell 3-0 in game one.
Price (6-8) pitched a solid game and deserved a better fate as she pitched 7 innings giving up 3 runs on 7 hits. She also walked 2 and struck out 2 in getting the hard luck loss.
The Blue Jays were limited to 6 hits and Price led the team going 2-3 with a double and was joined by Eva Gannon who was also 2-3. The Blue Jays just couldn't find a combination to push a run across.
Game 2 BOXSCORE
The second game saw the Blue Jays with their backs against the wall as the Tigers would plate two runs in the top of the 1st inning as Bledsoe would give up two of the four hits she would allow all game along An error and a couple wild pitches and a walk would have the Tigers out in front 2-0. Bledsoe would steady herself after the first inning. The Tigers had no idea what was coming in the final 6 innings as they would not score again.
The Blue Jays would respond with their first run of the day in the bottom of the 1st inning as Emily Esquivel would lead off the game with a single. Laney Rosson walked and then Brooke Laidley would single to load the bases and the Jays seemed to be in business. The next two Blue Jay hitters popped up on the infield and the inning would come down to Janae Shirk with two outs and the bases loaded. Shirk would come through with a single to left field to score Esquivel. Rosson was thrown out at the plate trying to score to end the inning but the Blue Jays were on the board for the first time of the day and cut the lead to 2-1.
Bledsoe would settle into the game and worked out of jams in the 2nd and 3rd inning by striking out 4 batters and keeping the Tigers off the board.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning the Blue Jays offense would come to life. Rosson would walked to lead off the inning. After a strike out Price would reach on an error by the third baseman. Mackenzie Myers would single to left field to load the bases. Shirk came up again with the bases loaded and responded again with an RBI single to tie the game 2-2. The next batter Abbey Jaspering would drive a ball to the gap in right field and clear the bases with a 3 RBI double to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead.
Bledsoe would sit the Tigers down in order in the top of the 4th inning and the Blue Jays would reward her with another run in the bottom of the inning. Esquivel would lead off the inning with a single and would eventually come in to score on a Myers sacrifice fly to increase the Jays lead to 6-2.
Bledsoe continued to cruise on the mound and when the Blue Jays came to the plate in the bottom of the 5th inning she would flex her muscles at the dish. Kasey Ginder would walk to lead off the inning. Bledsoe would come to the plate and hit a two-run bomb to break the game open and make the score 8-2.
Bledsoe would take it from there on the mound as she would face just 7 batters in the final two innings yielding just one walk in that span to wrap up the complete game victory for the Blue Jays.
Bledsoe (2-0) would work 7 innings giving up 2 runs, only one of which was earned, on 7 hits. She would walk 6 and strike out 7 on the way to her second win of the year, her first conference win.
The Jays were led at the plate by Shirk who went 3-4 with 2 RBI's. Jaspering also picked up 2 hits and a team leading 3 RBI's. Bledsoe had two RBI's on the back of her home run. Rosson went 2-2 with 2 walks. Esquivel and Myers each contributed 2 hits to the Blue Jay attack.
The win would get the Jays back to 6-6 in conference play and in 4th place going into their last regular season games against 1st place Fontbonne University on Monday. The games are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. first pitches.