The Lady Bisons softball team won 3-1 in their first tournament of the season at the University of Arkansas Monticello (UAM) Softball Challenge in Bentonville, Arkansas Feb. 8 and Feb. 9.
The Lady Bisons started the tournament against Missouri Western State University. The team won 4-0, and sophomore pitcher and first baseman Amanda Berry had her first career shutout.
For seven members of the Lady Bisons softball team, the tournament was their collegiate softball debut.
“This team is very different from the team from last year,” junior outfielder Peyton Mills said. “We have had to learn to play together and work hard to be a unit.”
During the second game of the tournament against Emporia State University, freshman Katlyn Gordon hit her first collegiate home run. They ended the game 4-6.
“I’m so proud of our team after this weekend,” senior infielder and catcher Madi Trump said. “We didn’t hit our best, but we found ways to win, which shows how dynamic our team is.”
In the third game against Northwest Missouri State University, the Lady Bisons won 1-0. Mills scored the run during the fourth inning when she stole second base and was assisted by sophomore catcher Katie Carney, who drove Mills on a single.
“There were times when the game was close and the pressure was on and we handled it well,” sophomore outfielder Lindsey Duncan said. “I know we will do the same the rest of the season.”
The team ended the tournament with a 5-2 win over the University of Central Missouri. The game was tied until the sixth inning, when the Lady Bisons broke the tie by scoring three runs in three hits. Freshman infielder Madison Leggett hit her first collegiate home run in the final game.
The Lady Bisons ended the tournament 3-1, and Duncan said they were able to see the aspects of the game they need to work on.
“Before the season, we spent some time and came up with some words to describe what we want our team atmosphere to be. One of these words is resilient.” Mills said. “We want to focus on never letting adversity set us back. We will always work together and be the best we can be.”
The Lady Bisons play Saturday, Feb. 17 in Hays, Kansas,against Upper Iowa University at 10 a.m. and Fort Hays State University at noon.