A Jess Gorman three-run home run in the fifth proved to be the difference as, behind 10 strikeouts from Krystian DeWitt, the Wright State softball team defeated Cleveland State 4-3 in the opening game of the Horizon League Tournament Wednesday in Chicago.
The Raiders opened the scoring with a run in the third. With one out, Angie Clark walked and moved up to second as Gorman grounded out to short. Hanna Floyd then hit a short fly ball that went off the glove of the right fielder for an error, allowing Clark to score.
CSU, however, answered with an unearned run of its own in the bottom of the third and it stayed that way until the decisive fifth, a rally that again started for WSU after the first batter was retired. Reagan Stofcheck had a hit to right center and Lindsay Barrett followed with a single to right. One out later, Gorman drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left center for her fourth home run of the season and a 4-1 Wright State lead.
The Vikings cut the deficit to 4-3 in the seventh on a long home run to center off the bat of Horizon League Player of the Year Dara Toman, but Krystian DeWitt bounced back to retired the next two batters on a fly out and ground out to end the game.
DeWitt (13-13) scattered six hits and walked one as she struck out 10 for the second straight game, having accomplished the feat Saturday at Loyola.
Wright State (18-35) advances to the winner's bracket semifinals against top seed and host UIC on Thursday starting at noon Eastern.