April 13, 2014

Neal and Pitkin Lead No. 25 Washington U. Softball Past UW-Eau Claire and No. 21 Anderson

Bloomington, Ill. April 13, 2014 – The No. 25-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team used a pair of solid pitching performances by senior Kelsey Neal and sophomore Annie Pitkin to post a pair of victories Sunday afternoon at the Illinois Wesleyan University Tournament in Bloomington, Ill.

Neal (5-2) allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings pitched in a 4-2 win over the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire in the first game, and then Pitkin tossed a complete game allowing nine hits and three runs (two earned) in a 4-3 win over No. 21-ranked Anderson University in game two. Pitkin also picked up her third save of the season tossing one inning in the game one victory over UW-Eau Claire.

Senior Maggie Ingell had a hit in each of the games Sunday, and her single in the top of the seventh against Anderson was the 200th hit of her career. Ingell is the second player in school history to achieve the feat.

#25 Washington U. 4, Wisconsin-Eau Claire 2
After a scoreless first two innings where Neal threw 13 pitches, WUSTL scored two runs on three hits in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Neal drove in a run with a single to right, and then came around to score on a double to left by freshman Hannah Mehrle. The Bears had five hits in the first three innings after recording just three Saturday against the Blugolds.

UW-Eau Claire (17-12) answered right back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third after Nikki Brooks doubled to left driving in two runs. The game remained tied until the seventh when the Bears put together the game-winning rally.

Freshman Kenzie James reached on a bunt single with one out, and then moved to second on a single to right by junior Alyssa Wilson. Ingell popped up for the second out of the inning, and then head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutte pulled off a double steal with James and Wilson moving them to second and third.

Neal then recorded the eventual game-winning hit with a double down the left field line that cleared the bases to make it 4-2. Neal finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs. She is fourth in school history with 136 RBIs, two behind Ingell (138) for third all-time. James and Wilson also recorded a pair of hits in the win for Washington U., who had 10 hits as a team in the win.

#25 Washington U. 4, #21 Anderson (Ind.) 3
Washington U. picked up a much-needed victory in game two over an Anderson team that entered the weekend riding a 12-game winning streak. ­The Bears had seven hits in the win and took advantage of three errors by the Ravens.

Pitkin allowed one unearned run despite loading bases with no outs in the first inning. She got a pop up and a strike out after a hit by pitch that allowed the first run of the game to score.

The Bears tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the fourth inning after James reached on a single that third baseman Morgan Burke dove for and the ball deflected across the infield allowing junior Sydney Caldwell to score from second. James finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI and raised her batting average to .407.

Washington U. pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth to build a 4-1 lead. Neal singled to lead off the inning, and then Ingell walked and Mehrle singled to lead the bases. Hofer reached on an error by Burke to drive in a run, and then Ingell came around to score after the throwing error to make it 3-1. Freshman Janet Taylor drove in another run with an RBI groundout to push the advantage to 4-1.

Anderson (18-4) would not go away as Katie McCool singled to lead off the fifth inning, and then came around to score on a two-run home run to center by Taylar Kelso. The home run for Kelso was her second of the tournament and fourth of the season. The Ravens got runners at first and second in the seventh with one out, but Pitkin got a pop up and groundout to end the game.

Washington U. (21-12) closes out a six-game road trip with a doubleheader at Greenville College on Wednesday, April 16. Game one is set to begin at 4 p.m.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: Ingell's double against UW-Eau Claire was the 41st of her career, tied for fourth most in school history  … Ingell also appeared in the 163rd game against Anderson, seventh all-time … The Bears are 17-0 when scoring first and 4-12 when the opponent scores first … Washington U. played without two starters Sunday – graduate student catcher Stacy Berg and junior third basemen Adrienne White … The Bears are 14-0 when leading after five innings … Ingell has hit safely in six-straight games while Mehrle has a four-game hitting streak … The first set of NCAA Regional Rankings will be announced Thursday.