CMU's Rupard, Utley Deliver in Softball Sweep of Baker
BALDWIN CITY, KS - Clutch hitting and timely scoring by Central Methodist's Michele Rupard to go along with dominant pitching by Aubrey Utley helped spur the Eagles to a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of Baker on Tuesday. The Eagles (32-11, 13-1 HAAC) defeated the Wildcats (18-13, 8-6 HAAC) by scores of 3- 2 in 10 innings and 5-3.
Central Methodist had outscored its oppoents 239-112 heading into the doubleheader at Baker but needed every at-bat to pull out two victories.
Baker led game one 1-0 courtesy of a homerun until the top of the seventh inning. Katelyn Moeller singled to left field before being pich run for by Kennedy Seifert. Two batters later, Rupard singled to center field, scoring Seifert from second base to tie the game.
In the top of the 10th inning, Rupard led off with a double to left center, scoring Shelby Pohlman to give the Eagles the upper hand. Rupard later scored what proved to be the game-winning run off Kayla Yount's single through the left side.
The Wildcats scored one run in the bottom of the frame before Utley induced two outs to end the game.
Utley (19-4), the reigning HAAC Pitcher of the Week, picked up the win in workhouse fashion. She pitched a complete game, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits while fanning five.
Utley outdueled Baker's Maggie Holmberg (7-7). She took the loss in the circle in game one but was equally impressive, tossing a complete game, allowing three runs, two earned, on nine hits while striking out 13.
Central Methodist took a 1-0 advantage in game two in the top of the fourth inning. Yount scored on a Kerri Francis single up the middle.
The Eagles took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning. Yount hit a RBI single to left before Kelsey Johnley scored on a passed ball.
After the Wildcats cut the deficit to 3-2, the visitors added two insurance runs in the sixth. Erika Reinagel singled on a well-placed bunt and later scored on a fielding error. Another RBI single by Rupard gave the Eagles a 5-2 lead.
After Baker trimmed the margin to two runs, Utley came out of the bullpen to earn her first save of the season, pitching two-thirds of an inning of scoreless ball.
Marjorie Lusby (5-4) recorded the win in the second game. She allowed two earned runs on three hits in five innings in the circle.
Erin Greenwood (10-6) dropped the decision. She pitched a complete game, giving up five runs, four earned, on nine hits and struck out 11.