WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State belted two grand slams and overcame extremely windy conditions to run-rule Houston in game one of the series, 13-5, Friday night at Wilkins Stadium.
Wichita State (25-5, 8-1) extended its winning streak to six in a row and moved even closer to the single season home run record, needing just one to tie and two to break the current record of 59 in a season.
Bailey Lange (13-2) overcame a rough start to the game. She allowed all five runs and three hits in the first two innings, but recovered to shut down the Cougar lineup. She finished with seven strikeouts and four walks in six innings.
Madison Perrigan was 2-for-4 with a triple to go along with her first grand slam of the season, while driving in a career-high tying five runs. Lauren Mills provided the other grand slam to go with three walks. Sydney McKinney extended her multi-hit streak to nine straight, going 2-for-5 with an RBI. Bailey Urban drove in three runs behind a pair of doubles.
Houston put the first run on the board in the top of the first after a leadoff walk came around to score on sacrifice fly. The Shockers tied it up in their first at-bat behind a Barnard single and Perrigan RBI triple.
After the Cougars came right back with a four-run top of the second to lead 5-1, Wichita State capitalized on a two-out grand slam from Perrigan to knot it back up at 5-5.
Lange’s first 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third led to the Shockers taking their first lead. In the home half of the third, Urban drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5.
Urban came through again in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run double to the left-center gap, upping the Shockers’ lead to 8-5.
Wichita State put the exclamation point on in the bottom of the sixth. Neleigh Herring led off with a double thanks to the nearly 40 mph wind gusts, and then Ryleigh Buck reached on an error and Bailee Nickerson walked to set up the opportunity for Mills. Mills would send a 3-1 pitch over the right-field fence to make it 12-5.
Kaylee Huecker then singled and Urban added her second double to put runners on second and third with no outs. McKinney laced the walk-off run-rule single to center to bring home the final run.
Wichita State and Houston continue play tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.