St. Louis, Mo., April 19, 2014 – The Washington University in St. Louis softball team celebrated Senior Day with a doubleheader sweep of Monmouth College Saturday afternoon at the WU Softball Field in St. Louis.
Washington U. won the opener 4-1 and then posted a 5-4 walk-off win in the nightcap on a single by junior Sydney Caldwell. The Bears upped their overall record to 26-13 with the two wins and kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Prior to the contest Washington U. honored its four senior members who will graduate in May: Stacy Berg, Claire Henkel, Maggie Ingell and Kelsey Neal. The group has led the Bears to a 117-50-1 overall record in four seasons with two NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2014 UAA Championship.
Washington U. 4, Monmouth 1 – Game One
Sophomore pitcher Annie Pitkin (14-9) was in control from start to finish as she picked up the win tossing five innings allowing five hits and one unearned run. She also struck out nine in the victory.
Sophomore Brooke Hofer was 3-for-3 at the plate with three doubles and an RBI. The three doubles in a game tied a school record. Hofer also pitched two innings in relief to pick up her second save of the season.
The leadoff runner reached base for the Bears in each of the first three innings as Washington U. built a commanding 4-0 lead.
Neal and Hofer had RBI doubles in the first and second inning, and then back-to-back sacrifice flies by Neal and Berg in the in the third gave the Bears the four-run advantage. Washington U. had three extra-base hits in the first three innings.
Monmouth got the scoreboard with an unearned run in the fifth to trim the lead to 4-1. The Scots threatened against Hofer in the sixth with the tying run at the plate, but she got a pop-up and a strike out looking to end the threat.
Washington U. had seven hits in the game one victory, including five doubles.
Washington U. 5, Monmouth 4 – Game Two
Monmouth took advantage of a dropped pop-up in the first inning to score three unearned runs off Neal. Caitlin Lingle's two-run home run to left with two outs, and then on the next pitch Charlotte Park laced a HR to left to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the first, Ingell sent a 3-2 pitch from Skyler Johnson deep over the centerfield fence to trim the lead to 3-1. The home run for Ingell was her sixth of the season and 28th of her career.
Washington U. cut the lead in half in the third inning with two outs after freshman leadoff hitter Kenzie James muscled for her first home run of her career.
The Bears continued to get the big hit with two outs, and in the fifth it was freshman Hannah Mehrle. Berg reached on a single with one out and then moved into scoring position after a throwing error by right fielder Kaitlyn Winkler. She came around to score the tying run after Mehrle's pinch-hit single to left.
Monmouth (16-14) pushed across a run in the fifth to take the 4-3 lead, but Neal answered with a solo home run in the sixth to tie the game. The home run for Neal was her sixth of the season and 23rd of her career.
Mehrle stayed in the game as the DP and led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center. She moved to second on a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by junior Paige Biles, and then scored the game-winning run after Caldwell's single to center.
Hofer (2-0) picked up the win in relief tossing 2 1/3 innings with a walk and a strikeout. Neal made the start and lasted 4 2/3 innings allowing seven hits and four runs (one earned). Washington U. had eight hits in game two, led by Mehrle's two hits.
Washington U. closes out a six-game home stand with a doubleheader against Principia College Thursday, April 24. Game one is set to begin at 4 p.m.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Washington U. is 21-0 this season when scoring first … Ingell is nine hits shy of the school record of 220 set by Liz Swary (2002-05) … The Bears posted a 5-1 record this week and hit .367 as a team … Mehrle (.625, four RBIs) and Ingell (.579, two home runs, seven RBIs) each hit over .500 in the six-game stretch … Ingell moved into a tie for third place in school history in games played (169), while Neal is tied for ninth (161).