MONROE, La. - The Wichita State softball team opened the 2013 season by splitting a pair of games Friday in the Mardi Gras Classic. The Shockers fell to UC-Santa Barbara 7-1 in the day's opening game before rebounding to knock off Grambling State, 8-0, in six innings.
In the victory over Grambling State, Sloan Anderson tied a career-high with eight strikeouts and no walks. The junior from Hillsboro, Ore. struck out the first three batters of the game and allowed only two hits in her six innings of work.
Anderson got the run support she needed from the top of the lineup with the first five hitters in the Shocker lineup each notching a pair of hits. Laura Vickers two-run single to left field in the third inning scored Layne Greenlee and Melanie Jaegers to break a scoreless tie.
Hayley Temple's double to left center in the bottom of the fifth inning scored Jaegers and Vickers to extend the Shockers lead to 4-0.
After Anderson left a pair of Grambling State runners stranded at second and third to end the top of the sixth inning the Shocker's bats came alive scoring four runs to close out their first run rule victory since dropping Howard, 9-1, on Mar. 3, 2012.
In the inning Jaegers doubled to centerfield to bring home Greenlee. Following a Vickers walk, Ali Vandever singled through the left side to bring home Danika Miller and Jaegers. Temple stepped up next and delivered the game clinching single to center plating Vickers from second base for her third RBI of the game.
Against Santa Barbara the Shockers put the first notch on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first on Vickers one-out double scoring Jaegers.
Wichita State threatened again in the second inning loading the bases and prompting a Santa Barbara pitching change. The Gauchos went to staff ace Shelby Wisdom. Wisdom, the 2012 Big West Conference Freshman Pitcher of the Year and UCSB's single season record holder for wins and strikeouts, struck out Jaegers to end the threat.
Shocker starter Katie Armagost pitched well into the third inning before a close call at first base on an infield dribbler off the bat of Wisdom went the Gauchos way. UCSB score two more in the inning to take a 3-1 lead.
The Gauchos added three more in the fourth inning and one in the fifth as Wisdom continued to stifle the Shocker bats. No Shocker had more than one hit in the game.
Wichita State continues play in the Mardi Gras Classic when they take on Mississippi Valley State at 9 a.m. At 3:15 the Shockers will take on host school ULM.