Conway, Ark., March 1, 2014 – The No. 17-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team opened the 2014 season with three impressive short-game victories at the Warrior Spring Fling Saturday in Conway, Ark.
The Bears posted wins over Austin College (8-0, six innings), Greenville College (14-1, five innings) and Hendrix College (8-0, six innings).
Sophomore pitcher Annie Pitkin struck out 13 and tossed the 22nd no-hitter in school history in the season-opening win vs. Austin.
Washington U. 8, Austin 0 (Six innings) – Game One
The Bears had 14 hits and rode the back of Pitkin for the season-opening win against Austin. WUSTL scored three runs in the bottom of the first to jump out to a commanding 3-0 lead. Leadoff singles by junior Paige Biles and freshman Kenzie James in the first set the table for senior Maggie Ingell, who blasted a three-run home run to give Pitkin all the run support she needed.
Junior Adrienne White had an RBI single in the third to make it 4-0, and then the Bears erupted for four runs on four hits in the sixth to push the advantage to 8-0. Four Bears drove in a run in the sixth inning, including an RBI single to left by senior Kelsey Neal that ended the contest.
Ingell went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while James was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Graduate student Stacy Berg (2-for-3) and junior Sydney Caldwell (2-for-3, RBI, run scored) also had multiple-hit games for the Bears.
Washington U. 14, Greenville 1 (Five Innings) – Game Two
The Bears scored 10 runs in it first at-bat against Greenville to jump out to a 10-0 lead. Back-to-back home runs by Ingell and White quickly made it 2-0, and then RBIs by freshman Janet Taylor and Hallie Steinberg pushed the lead to 4-0. Sophomore Amanda Kalupa drove in two runs with a RBI single to center to push the advantage to 6-0, and then Ingell drove in two more runs on a single up the middle.
Mehrle drove in a run with a single up the middle in the second, and then Taylor added an RBI to left in the third to make it 12-1. The Bears scored two more runs in the fourth on four hits to round out the scoring.
Kalupa (1-0) picked up the win on the mound allowing five hits and one earned run in three innings. Neal tossed the final two innings with four strikeouts. Ingell was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Caldwell was 3-for-3 with two run scored and an RBI and White was 3-for-4 with three run scored and an RBI.
Washington U. 8, Hendrix 0 (Six innings) – Game Three
Five Bears had multiple-hit games against Hendrix as Washington U. recorded a season-high 15 hits in the win. Berg (3-for-4, two RBIs, run scored), Ingell (3-for-4, three runs scored, two RBIs) and Neal (2-for-4, two RBIs, run scored) let the way for the Bears against Hendrix.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bears struck first in the second after an RBI single by White down the left field line. Washington U. tallied three more runs in the third to push the advantage to 4-0. Ingell doubled home the first run of the inning, and then Neal and sophomore Brooke Hofer added RBI singles to make it 4-0.
Ingell added an RBI single in the fourth and Neal doubled to center to drive in a run as Washington U. built a 6-0 lead. That was all the run support Hofer (1-0) needed as she picked up the win on the mound allowing five hits. Pitkin allowed one hit in the final two innings for Washington U. Berg added a two-RBI double in the sixth to round out the scoring for the Bears.
UP NEXT: Washington U. begins a 12-game Spring Break road trip with a doubleheader at Birmingham Southern College Friday, March 7, at 1 p.m. in Birmingham, Ala.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Ingell (.833, eight RBIs), James (.667), White (.636), Berg (.600) and Caldwell (.500) all are hitting above .500 through three games … Ingell scored six runs to move into fifth place with 118 in her career … The Bears hit .473 as a team and committed just one error in the three-game sweep … Ingell has 24 home runs in her career, third most in school history and two shy of second place… Washington U. is off to a 3-0 start for the third-straight year.