Lancers finish Razorback Invitational 3-2

Published 1:30 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

Wrapping up another five games over three days, Longwood softball closed out the Razorback Invitational with a loss to Western Illinois 3-1.

A two-run inning in the bottom of the fifth looked to be enough to stand throughout the remainder of the game giving Western Illinois (3-7, 0-0 Summit League) the win, their first of the weekend with only #10 Arkansas left to play.

Kayla Zamora was the hero for the Leatherbacks, stepped up to the plate in the home side of the fifth with two on and a full count. Battling Sydney Backstrom (3-4) in the circle, Zamora was able to hit the single up the middle allowing two runners to round the bases giving Western Illinois the lead 3-1.

Longwood (4-6, 0-0 Big South) got on the board early circling the bases during their first time at bat. Leading off was Jaden Pone, who singled up the middle gap putting her on first base safely. Pone trying to steal third, was caught by a throw out of the hand of Jorja Hudson behind the plate. Alexis Wayland smoked a triple to left center to start the rally in the first. With two outs, Korynna Anderson singled to left field on the first pitch, grabbing the RBI with Wayland scoring.

Three up three down to close out the first, the Leathernecks had an answer in the inning to follow. Bottom of the second with Georgia Rea as leadoff stroked one out of the park on a 0-1 count evening the score at 1-1.

Backstrom led the Lancers in the circle, and collected four total hitless innings, all going three up three down. Backstrom threw 11 strikeouts, only allowing four hits in the entire game, facing 23 batters in the 3-1 loss on Sunday.

Home side of the fifth saw three of the four hits allowed by Backstrom. The inning started with a single to center field from junior Maddy Anderson on a 1-2 count. Daytona Dooley followed her teammate’s lead, hitting a single to third base and advancing to second on a wild throw over to first. Zamora’s single reaching the outfield allowed both runners to score giving the Leatherbacks the lead for the first, and last time.

“This definitely wasn’t the result we wanted, but there were several lessons learned that we needed to have in preparation for next weekend,” said Head Coach Megan Brown. “There were a lot of good things that came from these five games and we’re excited to get to work this week.”

Despite a defensive fight from both teams, it was Western Illinois on top after six and half innings played. Next trip on the agenda for Longwood will take them to Starkville, Mississippi for The Snowman tournament. The Lancers first game of the tournament will be Friday, Feb. 25 against South Alabama at 12:30 p.m. CST, 1:30 EST.