Washington U. Softball Sweeps Greenville Behind Kelsey Neal’s Seven RBIs
BOX 1 | BOX 2
St. Louis, Mo., March 29, 2013 – Junior Kelsey Neal went 3-for-6 with two home runs and seven RBIs in Washington University’s doubleheader sweep over Greenville College Friday at the WU Softball Field.
The Bears rallied for a 6-4 win over the Panthers in the opening game, and posted an 11-0 victory in five innings in the second game. Neal hit the 14th and 15th home runs of her career in the sweep, moving into seventh place on Washington U.’s all-time list. Freshman pitcher Annie Pitkin recorded the victory in the second game, throwing a complete-game four-hit shutout.
Washington U. 6, Greenville 4 – Game One
Washington U. picked up a win in the opener behind a five-run offensive explosion in the fourth inning. Neal tied a career-high with nine strikeouts and improved her record to 10-3. The win was Neal’s 20th of her career, moving her into seventh place on Washington U.’s all-time list.
Neal helped her own cause in the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to left field to give Washington U. a 1-0 advantage. The score remained 1-0 until Greenville’s Danielle Helms tied it up in the top of the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to right field. Two batters later, Ashley Sharpe singled to right field to put Greenville ahead 2-1.
After registering just one hit the first three innings, the Bears’ bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth. Both Neal and junior Maggie Mullen reached base on an error by Greenville shortstop Mattie Fairchild. Junior Stacy Berg then singled to left field to bring home Neal, evening the score at 2-2. Freshman Brooke Hofer followed with a two-RBI single to right field to open up a 4-2 lead. The Bears added two more unearned runs after sophomore Adrienne White reached on an error.
The Panthers struck back in the top of the fifth inning, closing the deficit to 6-4 on Andrea Martin’s two-run home run to left field, her second of the year. However, Neal responded by striking out the side in the top of the sixth and putting Greenville away 1-2-3 in the seventh. The Bears finished with five hits and capitalized on three Greenville errors.
Washington U. 11, Greenville 0 (Five Innings)– Game Two
Pitkin tossed a complete-game shutout and Neal went 2-for-3 with six RBIs as Washington U. defeated the Panthers 11-0 in five innings. The Bears finished the game with nine hits. Pitkin gave up four hits and recorded three strikeouts in the victory.
The Red and Green struck first, registering three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior leadoff hitter Ashley Janssen singled up the middle to start the rally. After sophomore Paige Biles reached on a well-placed bunt, Mullen drew a walk to load the bases. The Bears’ next batter, senior Sondra Polonsky, also walked, pushing a run across to make it 1-0. Berg followed with a two-RBI double off the top of the fence in center field to make it 3-0.
Washington U. added four more runs in the second. With one out in the inning, Neal catapulted a two-RBI double to left-center to stretch the lead to 5-0. Mullen then followed with a towering two-run home run to left field to make it 7-0.
The offensive outburst continued for the Bears in the bottom of the third, highlighted by Neal’s two-out grand slam to left field. Neal’s 15th home run of her career gave the Bears an 11-0 lead, which would prove to be the final margin.
Biles (2-for-3, three runs scored) and Janssen (2-for-3, three run scored) also added a pair of hits in the win for Washington U. Janssen had three hits on the day and upper her team-leading batting average to .462.
Washington University (19-7) returns to action Saturday, March 30, with a doubleheader at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. Game one is set to begin at Noon. Both games will be broadcast live on the Bear Sports Network at: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/wustl.portal#.