No. 24 Softball Sweeps Rochester, Case on Day Three of UAA Championship
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Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 14, 2013 – The No. 24 ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team remained in the race for a conference championship with a pair of victories Thursday at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Washington U. recorded 14 hits in a 9-6 win over the University of Rochester in game one, and then road the back of freshman pitcher Annie Pitkin to a 4-3 win over Case Western Reserve University in the second game.
#24 Washington U. 9, Rochester 6
After a scoreless first inning, Washington U. put together a pair of hits to score the first run of the game in the second. Senior Sondra Polonsky led off the inning with a double to left, and then came around to score on an RBI single by junior Stacy Berg. The Yellowjackets tied the game up with an unearned run in the third after an RBI single by Meghan Hennessy.
The leadoff hitter reached for the third inning in a row for the Bears, and it resulted in a run for Washington U. in the fourth. Junior Kelsey Neal doubled to get the rally going, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Polonsky. Neal scored on a wild pitch from UR starter Brittany Grage to make it 2-1.
Rochester (0-8, 0-4 UAA) tied the game up in the fifth with an unearned run off Neal. She pitched around two errors in the inning, and struck out Gena Bradford Tume with the bases loaded to end the threat.
Washington U. broke the 2-2 tie by scoring six runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth. The Bears sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, and at one point had seven-straight batters reach base. Junior Maggie Mullen drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI double off the right field wall, and then a two-RBI double down the left field line pushed the lead to 6-2. Freshman Brooke Hofer added a two-RBI single to center to make it 8-2.
The Yellowjackets responded with two runs in the sixth after back-to-back homeruns by Nina Korn and Grage to make it 8-4, but an RBI single by Polonsky in the bottom half of the sixth made it 9-4. The Yellowjackets scored a pair of runs off Hofer in the seventh to trim the lead to 9-6, but she got the potential tying run Nicole Watson to strike out with two runners on base.
Washington U. had 14 hits in the win and was hampered by four errors. The Bears had four players with multiple-hits: senior Ashley Janssen (3-for-4, run score), Mullen (2-for-4, RBI, run scored), Polonsky (3-for-3, two runs scored, three RBIs) and sophomore Adrienne White (3-for-3, walk, run scored).
Neal (9-1) picked up the win in the circle allowing seven hits and two earned runs in 5 1 /3 innings pitched. Hofer recorded the first save of her career, tossing 1 2/3 innings allowing three hits and one earned run.
#24 Washington U. 4, Case Western Reserve 3
Pitkin (4-3) was in control from start to finish against Case as she picked up the first complete game of her career. She allowed five hits and two earned runs, and retired 12-straight batters at one point.
A solo home run by Mullen in the first gave Washington U. the early lead, and then an infield single by freshman Laura Worthen in the second pushed the advantage to 2-0. The RBI for Worthen was the first of her career. In the third inning, the Bears tacked on two more runs in the third with back-to-back sacrifice RBIs from Neal and Polonsky to make it 4-0.
Janssen made the play of the year in the top of the fourth, as she robbed Erin Dreger from a home run to keep it a four-run game. She reached over the four-feet tall fence to make the grab before crashing into the fence and landing outside the field of play.
Pitkin took a 4-0 lead into the sixth when Case Western Reserve (6-6, 2-3 UAA) mounted its comeback. Kristen Klemmer reached on an error by Neal to leadoff the inning, and then a single by Molly O’Brien with one out made it first and third. Dreger then sent a pitch from Pitkin over the left field fence to trim the deficit to 4-3.
Washington U. had eight hits in game two, led by Hofer’s 2-for-2 performance with a double.
Neal is tied for the tournament lead with a .600 (9-for-15) batting average, while Mullen (.533, 8-for-15) and Janssen (.500, 7-for-14) are also in the top five. Neal is also first in hits (nine) and doubles (four), while Mullen is tops is total bases (20) and Janssen is first in runs scored (nine).
Washington University (16-3, 4-1 UAA) returns to action Friday, March 15, with a pair of games against Brandeis University at 10 a.m. (ET) and No. 2 ranked Emory University at 12:30 p.m. (ET). The Bears are one game behind Emory in the conference standings with three games remaining.
Bear Notebook: Mullen’s sole home run in game two against Case was the 20th of her career, third most in school history … Washington U. leads the UAA Championship in team batting (.421) and is second in team pitching (6.25 ERA) and third in team fielding (.950 pct.).