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Grizzly Softball 4-0 after opening weekend of fall season

The Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) Grizzly Softball team got off to a fast start for its fall season, taking all four scheduled games this past weekend for an early 4-0 record.
The Grizzlies downed North Arkansas College 11-2 and 10-5 in a double-header Friday in Harrison, then defeated the Mountain Home Diamonds club team 17-2 and 5-0 in the home opener double-header Saturday at the Hilburn Sports Complex.
Friday's games
The Grizzlies used an eight-run third inning to put the Pioneers away in game one. Tied 1-1 after the first, the Grizzlies went on the scoring spree in the third off singles by Zoey Williams, Keeley Akers, Brooklyn Hasler and Brydon Maddox and a double by Alexis Funkhouser. Kennedy Cogdill was struck by an errant pitch, which drove in another run.
Jordyn Foley earned the win on the mound. She allowed three hits and one run over four innings while striking out five batters and walking one. Hasler threw one inning in relief.
In all, the Grizzlies recorded 12 hits and 11 runs over the five innings. Funkhouser, Williams, Maddox and Lexie Gastineau all recorded multiple hits in the game.
In the second game, the Grizzlies and Pioneers were tied 5-5 in the top of the fifth when Funkhouser reached on a dropped third strike and broke the stalemate. Ultimately, the Grizzlies got 10 runs off eight hits in the seven-inning contest. McKenzie Massey led the Grizzlies with two hits in three at-bats.
Cogdill earned the victory from the mound. The righty went four-and-a-third innings, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out four and walking one. Anabelle Hitt started the game and lasted two-and-a-third innings. She allowed two hits and five runs while striking out one.
Saturday's games
The Grizzlies generated a lot of offense against the Diamonds in the first game Saturday. Williams went three for four at the plate with three doubles, three runs scored, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Massey went two for three at the plate with a double, three runs scored, three RBIs and two stolen bases.  Cogdill also went two for three at the plate with a home run and four RBIs.
Foley pitched a great game giving up just two runs off four hits with nine strikeouts in five innings.
The nightcap became a pitching battle, with Hitt taking the win on the mound with a shutout performance. She recorded 16 strikeouts while allowing only two hits in seven innings.
The Grizzlies did generate some offense in the contest. Williams led the way going two for two at the plate with a home run and two runs scored. Allisyn Vance went one for two at the plate with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Akers went one for one with a double and two RBIs.
"We had fantastic pitching over the weekend and some outstanding offense," Grizzly Softball Head Coach Don Long said. "I'm very proud of our first four games. We still have several things we need to work on, but I look forward to seeing the progress we make each game."
The Grizzly coaching staff also thanked everyone for coming to Saturday's fall home opener. "We had a wonderful turnout for our fall home opener and tailgate event on Saturday. A special thank you to our Grizzly fans, QPs Food Trailer, Sweet Smoke Food Trailer and the Student Ambassador program at Missouri State University-West Plains for helping make this event a success," Grizzly Assistant Coach Ashley Cooley said.
Next up
The Grizzlies will hit the road again this coming weekend. They will play a double-header at Evangel University Saturday, Sept. 16, in Springfield before traveling to Fulton to face William Woods University Sunday, Sept. 17. Game times for both days are 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
For more information about the Grizzly Softball team, visit MSUWPGrizzlies.com or check out the team's Facebook page, Facebook.com/GrizzlySB.
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