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Softball: Pioneers win two in desert

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From news reports

TUCSON, Ariz. — TWU pounded out 22 runs to capture two wins on the first day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Pioneers defeated Regis 11-10 on Friday before beating New Haven 11-3 in five innings.

In the opener, Regis scored three runs in the top of the first inning on four hits.

The Pioneers responded with 11 runs in the bottom of the inning. TWU sent 15 batters to the plate and recorded nine hits while drawing three walks. The big hit came off the bat of Bailey Vrazel, who hit an inside-the-park grand slam down the right field line.

It was her first career home run and the first inside-the-park grand slam in TWU history.

TWU’s Jordan Readicker and Ashley Maddox each picked up two RBIs in the inning.

“Bailey’s inside-the-park home run was exciting to watch,” TWU coach Richie Bruister said. “With her speed, she crossed the plate standing up.”

The Rangers chipped away at the deficit by scoring four runs in third, two in fifth and one in the sixth while TWU went hitless over the final five innings.

Regis had the tying run at second with no outs in the sixth, but Brandi Lander came on in relief and struck out the side to end the inning. The Rangers again put the tying run on second with one out in the seventh, and Lander responded by striking out the final two batters for the save.

Against New Haven, the Pioneers sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first and scored six times. TWU added two runs in the second and two in the third on two-run doubles by Kendra Sancet and Katie Hines, respectively. Vrazel drove in the Pioneers’ 11th run in the fourth on a single.

Lander pitched a complete game and picked up her fourth win. She struck out six.

“Brandi was outstanding in the circle with 11 strikeouts [on the day],” Bruister said. “She slammed the door against Regis, striking out five of the six batters she faced, and tossed a good game against New Haven.”

Vrazel went 5-for-8 with six RBIs and four stolen bases in the two games, and Lizzy Kelly was 3-for-5 with five runs scored.

“We hit the ball hard today,” Bruister said. “Lizzy and Katie both had good at-bats.”

TWU (7-3) takes a five-game winning streak into its game at 11 a.m. today against Grand Canyon. The Pioneers will face Nova Southeastern at 2 p.m.