Owls Earn Split With #16 William Carey University
HATTIESBURG, MS -- The William Woods University softball team picked up a doubleheader split against #16-ranked William Carey University on Wednesday night. The Owls fell 1-0 in the opening game before roaring back to claim the nightcap by a 4-2 margin. Kelsey Schulte (Honey Creek, Mo.) took the opening-game loss for WWU, with MacKenzie Bowden (Hartsburg, Mo.) picking up her fourth win of the season.
The first game saw a defensive battle through the first five-and-a-half innings, with neither team able to light the scoreboard. The Owls threatened in the top of the second as Nicole Hamdorf (Grain Valley, Mo.) rapped out a two-out single, but Kacey Scharnhorst (St. Peters, Mo.) flew out to left to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second, the Crusaders put runners on the corners with two outs, but Schulte calmly pitched out of the jam, with a called third strike on an 0-2 pitch retiring the side.
William Carey scored a run in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of a pair of WWU errors in the inning.
The Owls were able to put a runner on base in the top of the seventh, as Macy Wierschem (Waterloo, Ill.) was safe after an error from the WCU shortstop, but the Owls couldn't finish the rally as Hamdorf popped up to short to end the game.
Schulte scattered three hits across 6.0 innings, striking out three batters as well.
In the second game, the Owls broke open the scoring in the top of the second inning, with Wierschem drawing a walk to lead off the inning, advancing on a Hamdorf single. Both runners were put in scoring position by a Scharnhorst sacrifice, with Lauren Lopes (Lompoc, Calif.) singling to score Wierschem.
The Owls added two more runs in the top of the third, as they loaded the bases with one out. Schulte and Caroline Sicht (Columbia, Mo.) singled, chasing WCU starter Alli McCaleb from the game. Wierschem battled through an 11-pitch at-bat to draw a walk before Hamdorf picked up an RBI as she reached on a fielder's choice that retired Wierschem at second and scored Schulte. A single from Scharnhorst allowed Sicht to score, but the Owls would settle for a 3-0 lead.
WCU wasn't able to respond in the bottom of the third and neither team could score in the fourth or fifth innings.
William Woods pushed its lead to 4-0, as a Lindsey LeCuru (Jefferson City, Mo.) double scored Scharnhorst, but the Owls couldn't extend the lead further, as the next two batters retired to end the inning.
The Crusaders were able to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, pushing one run across courtesy of a WWU error, but the Owls would limit the damage with a stellar bit of defense, as LeCuru snagged a sharp liner from Jasmine Shelby and picked off Kelsey Jo Smith as she tried to return to third. A double for Anna Lauren Fontenot cut the deficit in half, but Danielle Farnum popped out to second to end the inning.
WWU wasn't able to extend the lead in its half of the seventh, but three strikeouts countered a leadoff single and a walk to give Bowden the complete game win.
The Owls move to 9-10 on the 2012 campaign and will wrap up its spring break road trip at Millsaps College on Friday, March 16. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 2 p.m.