WILLIAM PENN SPORTS
Posts Huge Offense in Opener to Split Against Defending Champs
Statesmen softball team managed a season-best offensive explosion in the
opener, but could not maintain its success in splitting a Midwest
Collegiate Conference doubleheader versus St. Ambrose Wednesday.
#28 William Penn (17-8, 5-1 MCC) won the opener 11-4, but fell in the
nightcap 7-2. The loss to the defending regular season champion
Queen Bees (15-9, 5-1 MCC) not only was the squad’s first in league
play, but also snapped WPU’s six-game winning streak.
The visitors posted 2014 highs with 11 runs and 20 hits in Wednesday’s
first contest. They got going right away with two runs in the first
Edwards (Jr., Galesburg, Ill., Psychology & Biology)
cleared the left-center fence. After not having a home run at all
last year or any in her first 15 games this spring, she has now made the
full trip around the pads twice in the team’s last eight games.
Two more runs were added in the third with RBI singles by Ashley
Bezdicek (Jr., Walla Walla, Wash., Business Management) and Jorden
Steele (Jr., Tacoma, Wash., Physical Education).
The four-run edge was extended by two more runs in the fourth.
Edwards came around on a passed ball, while Jessica
Christensen (So., Marysville, Wash., Sociology) also
produced a run-scoring single. Brittanee
Grove (Jr., Runnells, Iowa, Elementary Education) then
made it 7-0 in favor of William Penn with a fifth-inning single.
Whitehead (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Biology) was cruising to
that point, but ran into a logjam of trouble in the bottom of the fifth by
allowing a grand slam, narrowing the margin to three at 7-4.
The Statesmen did not slow down at the plate, though, as Edwards brought
in her squad’s eighth run with a sixth-inning single. The scoring
concluded in the seventh with Bri
Zerley (Jr., Monroe, Iowa, Biology) touching home plate on
a wild pitch, Steele having an RBI one-bagger, and Malloree
Grove (Sr., Runnells, Iowa, Physical Education) tallying
one more with a sacrifice flyout.
The ‘O’ came in nearly every inning with WPU having at least three
base knocks in six of the matchup’s seven frames. Eight different
players had a hit with Edwards topping the list at 4-for-6 with three RBIs
and two runs. Bezdicek and Steele finished 3-for-4, while
Christensen was 3-for-5. Zerley (2-for-4) and Steviee
Grove (Sr., Runnells, Iowa, History/Government) (2-for-5)
also had multiple hits in the victory.
Steele produced two RBIs and Malloree Grove and Brittanee Grove each came
around twice as well. The navy and gold’s run tally was its most
since April 23, 2013 (Clarke), while its 20 hits were the most since March
27, 2011 (Grand View).
Whitehead improved to 11-1, but had to suffer through her toughest outing
of the season to get there. All four of SAU’s runs were earned off
of seven hits. The senior struck out five, while also walking five.
The sizzling Statesmen offense unfortunately cooled to lukewarm in the
second game. The hosts were not much better, holding a slim 7-6 edge
in hits, but came up with timely base knocks to secure the split.
Having already given up a run in the bottom of the first, Lunden
Young (Jr., Lewiston, Idaho, Physical Education) allowed
the biggest shot of the day on a three-run home run. That would end
her day as she fell to 4-4 on the season. She permitted four runs
(all earned) on three hits, while striking out one and walking one.
Brittanee Grove replaced Young and pitched well in relief, allowing three
runs (all earned) on four hits in 5 1/3 frames. The junior posted
five Ks without a walk.
Down 5-0 entering the fifth, WPU finally got on the board as Malloree
Grove doubled around Steele and Edwards singled home Grove. The
Statesmen put runners into scoring position in the third, fourth, and
sixth innings as well, but failed to bring any other runs across.
The Queen Bees countered those scores with two of their own in the sixth.
Christensen paced the plate effort with a 2-for-3 showing.
Next: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Thursday to host Clarke in
another MCC doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.