Softball splits matchups over the weekend
March 8, 2017
Filed under Sports
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CARBONDALE, Ill. — Women’s softball finishes their weekend strong, winning their final two games of the Coach B Classic at Southern Illinois.
Western started out the weekend playing the home team, Southern Illinois, in a tough matchup, but ultimately fell 3-2.
The game started out slow and scoreless for the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, the Salukis struck first.
Southern’s Sydney Jones hit a one-out single to get on and find her way around the bases. A throwing error by the Leathernecks allowed Jones to advance. Merri Ann Patterson came to the plate and roped a double, which gave her the first RBI of the game.
After two more scoreless innings, Western responded with a run of their own. Junior Rachel Beatty found her way to first on an error, but advanced all the way to third on a couple of sacrifice plays from her teammates. Finally, Kelsey Marlow came to the plate and hit a single to get Western on the board.
In the top of the eighth inning, Southern went on the biggest spirt of the game, rallying with two runs to give them a lead. Western could not overcome the two-run deficit.
Western battled Murray State later that day and fell in another close game. The Leathernecks batted first and scored in the first inning.
Beatty started out the game with a single and used her legs to get herself in scoring position when she stole second base. Western’s cleanup hitter, Holly Hoelting, ripped a single and got the Leathernecks on the board.
Western’s defense stayed true for the first inning, but gave up a couple runs in the bottom of the second.
After Western walked the leadoff batter, it set up the Racers for a two-run homerun and lost the lead. Both teams stayed quiet for the next couple innings, but in the top of the fifth, Western stayed alive with two runs.
Nina Maggio had a leadoff walk, followed by two more RBIs from Hoelting on the game where she hit a two-run homerun to give the lead back to the Leathernecks.
Murray State responded with another two runs of their own to give them the lead, which would be enough to win the game.
In the third and final game of the weekend, Western played Northern Illinois and pulled out their first win of the tournament in a one-run game that ended in a walk-off for the Leathernecks.
NIU scored first, but it was not until the top of the fourth inning. It was an unearned run. That was all the scoring the Huskies did on the day, but Western’s Hoelting had another RBI and scored Beatty in the bottom of the sixth to tie the ballgame. In the bottom of the seventh, Emily Ira roped a twoout double to put herself in scoring position. Hailey Duwa, who pinch hit for Jasmine Lara, hit a walk-off single and got Western their first win of the weekend.
In the final game of the weekend, the purple and gold won in the ultimate pitchers’ matchup; the game was scoreless through six innings. Marlow led off the final inning with a walk. After a Leathernecks strikeout, Duwa came back up to the plate and she had another gamewinning RBI to help Western win their second game of the weekend, 1-0.
Western now travels the Memphis, Tennessee to play in the Memphis Softball Tournament. The Leathernecks look to stay hot, as conference play is right on their heels.