Washington University Softball Celebrates Senior Day With Sweep of Blackburn
BOX 1 | BOX 2 | PHOTO
St. Louis, Mo., April 21, 2013 – The Washington University in St. Louis softball team celebrated Senior Day with a sweep of visiting Blackburn College, posting wins of 13-3 in five innings and 7-0 on Sunday afternoon at the WU Softball Field in St. Louis.
Prior to Sunday’s contest, Washington University honored its four seniors who are completing their final season with the Red and Green – Claire Downs, Ashley Janssen, Sondra Polonsky, Hilary Stepansky. The four seniors have compiled an overall record of 112-46-1 (.708), leading Washington U. to four seasons with 25 or more wins and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011.
Washington University improved to 25-9 with the doubleheader sweep, its 11th-straight season with 25 or more wins. Blackburn fell to 14-13 overall and has lost six-straight games.
Washington University hosts NCAA Division II Union University Monday, April 22, in a doubleheader at the WU Softball Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
Washington U. 13, Blackburn 3 (five innings) – Game One
The Bears took advantage of a six-run first inning to gain the game-one victory. Leadoff singles by Janssen and sophomore Paige Biles set the table for the Bears, and then an RBI single by junior Kelsey Neal made it 1-0. Junior Maggie Mullen doubled down the left field line to make it 2-0, and then junior Stacy Berg added a single to right to make it 3-0.
After a single by sophomore Adrienne White, Polonsky lined a pitch from Blackburn starter Mary Chamberlain over the left field fence to push the advantage to 6-0. The home run for Polonsky was her second of the season and eighth of her career.
In the second inning, Washington U. took advantage of a two-out error to score three unearned runs. Neal doubled down the left field line and Mullen reached on an error, before Berg launched a three-run home run to left. The home run for Berg was her team-leading eighth of the season.
Freshman pitcher Annie Pitkin struck out eight of the first nine batters she faced, and did not allow a hit through the first three innings of play. With Pitkin cruising on the mound, the Bears’ offense added four insurance runs in the bottom of the third. Neal cleared the bases with a two-out grand slam to make it 13-0. The home run for Neal tied Berg for the team lead, while the grand slam was her fourth of the season.
Neal (3-for-3, five RBIs), Berg (3-for-3, four RBIs) and Polonsky (2-for-3, three RBIs) drove in 12 of the 13 runs for Washington U. in the five-inning victory. The Bears had 14 hits in the win. Pitkin (10-3) struck out 10 in the win, allowing three hits and three earned runs in four innings pitched. Freshman Brooke Hofer allowed one hit and struck out one in an inning in relief.
Washington U. 7, Blackburn 0 – Game Two
Washington U. broke open a scoreless game in the third inning with four runs on five hits, along with a Blackburn error. Hofer singled to right to lead off the inning, and then moved to second after Downs reached base on a sacrifice bunt. Janssen drove home the first run of the game with a single to left, and then Neal and Mullen added two-out RBI singles.
With Neal in control on the mound for Washington University, the Bears added three insurance runs in the fifth to push the advantage to 7-0. With the bases loaded and the outfield playing shallow, Janssen lined a double into the right center gap for a pair of runs. On the ensuing at-bat, Biles reached on an infield single allowing another run to score.
Neal (12-5) allowed four hits and struck out seven in five innings pitched, while freshman Amanda Kalupa allowed two hits and struck out one in two innings of relief. Washington U. had 12 hits in the win, its 19th game with double-digit hits.
Biles (2-for-4, RBI), Janssen (2-for-2, three RBIs, run scored, two walks), Hofer (2-for-4, run scored) and White (2-for-4, run scored) all had multiple-hit games for the Bears.
Janssen was 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored, three walks and three RBIs in the sweep, and was on base seven of eight times. She also stole three bases to up her career total to 32, tying Karli Stander (2005-08) for fifth on the WUSTL all-time list. Neal was also 4-for-7 with six RBIs, while Berg was 4-for-7 with four RBIs.
Bear Notebook: Neal drove in six runs on the day, pushing her season total to 48, nine shy of the single-season school record … Neal also moved into eighth place on the all-time list for RBIs (93) in a career … Janssen’s three walks pushed her career total to 60, four shy of the school record … Washington U. leads the all-time series with Blackburn 19-3.