KWU and Ottawa Split Key Softball Doubleheader
KSAL Sports - April 9, 2014 6:15 am
A pair of fantastic games highlighted the day for the KCAC as conference co-leaders Ottawa and Kansas Wesleyan squared off at Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon. The Coyotes would win the first game 3-2 in eight innings, while Ottawa used a big late-inning rally and then held off a comeback attempt by the Coyotes for a 9-8 win in the nightcap.
The KCAC race cleared up a little bit as Tabor swept Bethany, knocking the Swedes out of what was a three-way tie with Ottawa and KWU. Wesleyan already split with the Swedes, while Ottawa and Bethany will close out the regular season facing each other on April 22 in Ottawa.
Noelle Skanderson (SR/Rohnert Park, Calif.) put the Coyotes up 1-0 in the fourth inning of the opener, as both teams were locked in a pitching duel in the first game. The Coyotes would add a second run in the fifth when Lindsay Weaver reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt that allowed Reanna Guzman (JR/Lakewood, Calif.) to score.
Ottawa scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to tie things up 2-2 thanks to a RBI single by Gabby Markham and the second run coming on an error. After a scoreless seventh, the Coyotes would get on the board in the eighth thanks in part to the International Tie Breaker rule. With Abrianna Palacio (JR/Garden Grove, Calif.) on second base, Weaver put down a bunt single to give Wesleyan runners on the corners with no outs. Stephanie Patterson (JR/Hutchinson, Kan.) would drive in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly.
Ottawa stepped up in the bottom half of the inning with a runner on second and led off the inning with a single, but Savannah Taylor would be thrown out at third on the play. Closer Hannah Holt (JR/Shawnee, Kan.) then got a strikeout and a fly out to end the game and give the Coyotes a 3-2 win.
Holt picked up the win throwing two and a third innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two, after taking over for starter Daria Leid (SR/Carson City, Nev.) in the sixth. Weaver, Skanderson and Kirstie Zimmerman (SR/San Jose, Calif.) all had two hits for the Coyotes in the game.
Both teams scored once in the first inning of game two, and the Coyotes would build a 6-3 lead after five innings, but a 6-run sixth for Ottawa gave the Braves a 9-6 lead. Despite a tremendous rally by the Coyotes in the seventh, Ottawa would hold on for the 9-8 win.
Kimberly Patterson (SO/Hutchinson, Kan.) doubled in the first inning, scoring Stephanie Patterson on the play to put the Coyotes ahead. Ottawa would answer in the bottom half, getting an RBI hit to tie things up at 1-all.
Weaver drove in a pair of runs in the top of the second to put the Coyotes on top 3-1 and Wesleyan added another run in the third on Rachel Rheaume (SO/Riley, Kan.)’s double to center field. The Coyotes had a chance to do even more damage in the inning, but left the bases loaded.
Amber Harris doubled home a pair of runs for Ottawa in the fourth to get the Braves back within a run, but in the Coyote half of the fifth, Zimmerman connected on a 2-run single to get the runs back and give the Coyotes a 6-3 lead.
Things seemed to be going very well for the Coyotes in the bottom of the sixth as Holt, who replaced starter Taylor Heins(FR/Americus, Kan.) in the fifth only needed two pitches to record the first two outs of the inning. That’s when things turned south quickly. Ottawa took advantage of a Wesleyan error and got a rally going, scoring six unearned runs in the inning to take a 9-6 lead.
Wesleyan wasn’t about to give up at that point. Lauren Szoboscan (JR/Rancho Cordova, Calif.) led off the Coyote half of the seventh with a hit and Ashley Moon (SR/Spokane, Wash.) followed with a walk. A ground out advanced the runners 60 feet with one out. Guzman would connect for a sac fly to score pinch runner Cassidy Dixon (FR/Maize, Kan.) and Moon would later score on a wild pitch to get Wesleyan back within a run at 9-8. Skanderson stepped up in a pinch hitting role and knocked a double to center, and pinch hitter Angelique Archuleta (FR/Broomfield, Colo.) walked to get the Coyotes started again, but a ground out would end the game and cut Wesleyan’s rally just short.
Kimberly Patterson and Zimmerman had two hits each for the Coyotes while Weaver and Zimmerman each drove in two runs. Holt would end up taking the loss, allowing six unearned runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Starter Heins would go four innings and faced one batter in the fifth, giving up three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Wesleyan returns to action on Saturday, hosting Saint Mary at 1 p.m. at Bill Burke Park. Three of Wesleyan’s final four match-ups are at home as Wesleyan hosts Friends next Wednesday, then heads to Bethel on April 19 and wraps the regular season at home on April 22 against Southwestern.