No. 8 Softball Opens Season with Pair of Wins in Arkansas

No. 8 Softball Opens Season with Pair of Wins in Arkansas

Conway, Ark., Feb. 20, 2016 — The No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team opened the 2016 season with a pair of wins Saturday at the 2016 Warrior Spring Fling hosted by Hendrix College in Conway, Ark.

The Bears posted a 7-4 win over Westminster College (Mo) in the season opener, and then recorded a 10-0 victory in five innings over host Hendrix in game two.

"It was definitely nice to get out on the dirt and play in the 60-degree weather," said 11th-year head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté. "It was nice to get into a nice offensive rhythm. We played very good defense today, and it was nice to have all four pitchers face some batters."

Junior Hannah Mehrle (7-for-8, two triples, four RBIs) and freshman Taylor Arends (6-for-8, two doubles, triple, three RBIs) combined to have 13 of WashU's 27 hits in the sweep.

#8 WashU 7, Westminster (Mo.) 4
Mehrle went 4-for-4 with three RBIs in the season opener, while Arends went 3-for-4 with three run scored in her collegiate debut. The Bears had 12 hits in the win.

The Bears broke open the game scoring four runs on three hits in the top of the second. Sophomore Hera Tang drove in a run with an RBI single, and then Mehrle cleared the bases with a triple to left.

Westminster (0-1) got a run back in the bottom of the second, but WashU answered right back in the third after freshman Josi Elder drove in two runs with a double to left.

The Bluejays trimmed the advantage to 6-4 with three runs in the sixth off WashU sophomore pitchers Mackenzie Gauden and Anna McKee. The Bears scored in the seventh on an RBI groundout by senior Brooke Hofer to round out the scoring.

Gauden (1-0) picked up the win allowing six hits and two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched, while sophomore Maggie Clapp recorded the save retiring the final two batters.

#8 WashU 10, Hendrix 0 (Five Innings)
Senior pitcher Annie Pitkin tossed a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the game two victory. She allowed a leadoff infield single to Karli Sewell in the second for the lone hit of the game.

Mehrle singled up the middle to score Tang as WashU jumped out in front 1-0 in the first, and then tacked on another run in the third on an RBI infield single by Arends.

With Pitkin in control on the mound, WashU put the game out of reach with six runs on six hits in the fourth to build an 8-0 advantage. Back-to-back triples from junior Janet Taylor and Arends pushed across two runs, and then Hofer added an RBI groundout. The Bears also took advantage of three errors in the inning by Hendrix.

Arends drove in her fourth run of the game in the fifth to round out the scoring. She finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Mehrle (3-for-4, two runs scored, RBI) and junior Kenzie James (3-for-4, two runs scored) also had three hits each. WashU had 15 hits in the game two victory.

WashU (2-0) continue plays in the Warrior Spring Fling Sunday with games against Westminster at 10 a.m. and Hendrix at Noon.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU is 23-1 all-time against Westminster and 10-1 against Hendrix … The Bears upped their all-time win total to 496, just four shy of 500 … Mehrle had two triples to increase her total to seven, tied for sixth most in school history … Mehrle, who recorded her 100th career hit in game two, increased her career batting average to .418 ... Pitkin moved into third all-time in wins (51) and fifth in complete games (40).