Posted: Apr 2, 2013 10:20 PM
FAYETTE, Mo. -- Central Methodist softball picked up its sixth-straight win Tuesday after a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of Peru State (Neb.), winning each game by a score of 8-0 in five innings.
Central Methodist (12-9-1, 4-0 HAAC) remains atop the league standings with MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.). The Eagles and Pioneers, who are 2-0 in the HAAC, are the only remaining undefeated teams in league play and face off Saturday in a doubleheader in Olathe, Kan.
Eagle pitchers Bri Ford and Aubrey Utley shut down arguably the hottest team in league play on Tuesday at Cox Field, holding the Bobcats to only three hits and NAIA National Player of the Week Kristen Bodyk to a combined 0-4 with two strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Central Methodist pounded out a combined 16 runs on 25 hits. The Eagles built a 3-0 lead in game one on the strength of two RBI singles by Erika Reinagel and Megan Robbins and a throwing error before blowing the contest open with five runs in the fifth.
Ford had a perfect game going before Emily Maresh led off the fifth with a single up the middle, the Bobcats' only hit of the contest.
Four Central Methodist players reached base to start the bottom of the final frame before Peru State (6-16, 4-2 HAAC) recorded an out. A Robbins' RBI single was followed by a Reinagel sacrifice fly, making the score 5-0. The Eagles then tallied three runs on three straight RBI singles by Mary Kate Townley, Michele Rupard and Courtney Dennis to end the game early.
Rupard and Robbins were 3-for-3 apiece at the plate. Robbins and Reinagel each had two RBI, while Robbins and Jacqui Cappuccilli each tallied two runs scored.
Ford (4-3) went the distance in game one, tossing a one-hit shutout to go along with four strikeouts.
Lauren Johnson (4-6) dropped the decision, giving up eight runs, six earned, on 14 hits in four and two-third innings in the circle.
Already leading 1-0 in game two, Central Methodist's Lauren Geringer jacked a three-run homer, her second of the season, to right in the bottom of the third to increase the margin to four runs. Ford laced a two-run double to center in the fourth to make the score 6-0. Geringer and Ford then recorded RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to send the crowd home early in the nightcap.
Reinagel and Geringer each were 3-for-3 at the plate, while Geringer added four RBI. Seven different Eagles scored at least one run in game two.
Utley (7-3) pitched a two-hit shutout in her fourth straight complete game while also fanning three. The Trenton, Mo., native picked up her 57th career win, breaking a tie with Culver-Stockton's Sunshine Pickett (1996-99) for second in HAAC history. Utley is one win shy of Evangel's Wendy Niebuhr, who posted 58 from 2002-2005.
Pitcher Devon Massengale (2-8) took the loss, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits in three and one-third innings.
With two victories Thursday at Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.), Central Methodist coach Pat Reardon would pick up his 539th career win, tying former Saint Francis (Ill.) coach Dick Smith for 14th on the NAIA's all-time list. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT.