St. Louis, Mo., March 25, 2015 – The No. 18-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team rallied for a pair of one-runs victories over Missouri Baptist University Wednesday at the WU Softball Field in St. Louis. The Bears improved to 20-6 with the sweep, and became the fourth NCAA Division III team to hit the 20-win plateau this season.
The Bears scored three runs in the sixth inning to post a 4-3 win in game one, and then sophomore Hannah Mehrle delivered a walk-off single in the eighth inning of game two as the Bears rallied for a 3-2 win.
#18 WashU 4, Missouri Baptist 3
Junior pitcher Annie Pitkin (13-4) picked up the win in game one tossing her 11th complete game of the year allowing eight hits and three earned runs. She also struck out 11 batters, the fifth time this season Pitkin has struck out 10 or more batters. Biles was 2-for-3 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored as Washington U. had seven hits.
Missouri Baptist struck first in the second inning after No. 9 hitter Mariah Randazzo ripped an off-speed pitch from junior Annie Pitkin off the left field wall for a two RBI double.
Trailing by two, the Bears cut the lead in half with some small ball. Sophomore Kenzie James led off the third with a bunt single, and then moved to second on a sac bunt. She stole third and then came around to score on an RBI single by senior Paige Biles.
WashU got the bats going in the sixth, producing three runs on four hits to take the lead. Biles led off with a bunt single, and then moved to second on a sac bunt. Senior Adrienne White singled to center to move Biles to third, and then freshman Maggie Clapp drove in two with a double off the CF wall. Freshman Hera Tang added an RBI single to right to push the lead to 4-2.
#18 WashU 3, Missouri Baptist 2 – Eight innings
The Bears fell behind for the second-straight contest in the second inning after No. 8-hitter Lexi Gray took freshman starting pitcher Mackenzie Gauden deep for a homerun to center to make it 2-0. Gauden did not get much support from the WashU offense in the first four innings, as the Bears were limited to five hits and left four runners on base.
Clapp relieved Gauden on the mound and kept it a two-run game by keeping Missouri Baptist (2-2) off the scoreboard for two innings. In the sixth, sophomore Janet Taylor just missed a HR with a double off the left field wall. Sophomore Anna McKee followed with a two-run homerun to center to tie the game at 2-2. The homerun for McKee was her second in the last three games.
Clapp got out of a jam in the top of the eighth during the international tiebreaker to keep the game tied at 2-2. Senior Alyssa Wilson was placed at second to start the bottom of the eighth, and then the bases were loaded with one out after intentional walks to White and McKee. Mehrle then ripped a pitch of the middle to drive in Wilson for the game-winning run.
Biles went 3-for-4 and upped her average to .459, fifth highest in the University Athletic Association (UAA). She went 5-for-7 in the doubleheader sweep and has hit safely in nine-straight games. Biles has also reached base in 19-straight contests. Mehrle also went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the win. Washington U. had 11 hits in the win, its ninth game this season with double figures hits.
Washington U. continues a 10-game home stretch with a doubleheader against Fontbonne University Sunday, March 29, at Noon.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Washington U. has recorded 20 or more wins in 16-straight seasons … Taylor had her 11-game hitting streak snapped in game one … Biles swiped her 56th career base in game one, two shy of second all-time in school history … The complete game for Pitkin was the 30th of her career … WashU is 9-8 all-time against Missouri Baptist.