Owls Split with Park in AMC Semifinal Doubleheader
FULTON, MO -- After posting a 11-3 win in six innings in the opener, the William Woods University softball team saw a fourth-inning turnaround that led to a split on the day with Park University. MacKenzie Bowden picked up the win in the opener to move to 12-5 on the year, with Becca Schemmer falling to 8-5 with a loss in the nightcap.
The Owls opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first in game one, but Park leveled the score at 1-1 in the top of the second.
William Woods pushed back out to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third, as back-to-back walks to Whitney Eufinger and Schulte followed by a wild pitch moving the runners to second and third chased the Pirates' starter from the game. After a flyout to right from Ashley DePew, Ilissa Facchini belted a 2-RBI single up the middle. The Owls weren't able to add to the lead in the inning as Kristy Pluchinski hit a grounder to short, reaching on a fielder's choice as Facchini was forced out at second.
The fifth inning saw fireworks on both sides, as Park leveled the game in the top of the inning with a two-out 2-RBI single before WWU erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the frame.
With one out, DePew picked up an infield single, racing home on a double from Facchini. A single from Caroline Sicht put runners on the corners, with Pluchinski reaching on an error by the Park shortstop. Sam Parsons singled to score Facchini and a walk to Kacey Scharnhorst scored Sicht. Another error from the Park third baseman allowed two more runs to score, with singles from Eufinger and Schulte driving in the final two runs of the frame.
Park threatened in the top of the sixth, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Bowden got Megan Palmer to ground out to second, ending the rally.
Scharnhorst put the first game away with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth that scored Facchini to push the margin to eight runs and trigger the mercy rule.
In the second game, William Woods opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning, pushing across a pair of runs.
Park cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third, but WWU responded in the top of the frame as Parsons led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt from Scharnhorst. Lauren Lopes was hit to put two runners aboard, with a single from Eufinger scoring Parsons. After a walk to Schulte left the bases loaded, DePew looked to have driven in a second run with a single to short. Eufinger was judged, however, to have interfered with the Park shortstop, negating the RBI single and leaving the Owls with two out. Facchini stranded three runners with a liner to third.
The visitors made the most of the turnaround, as Jamie Tanno led off with a home run to center and pushed four more runs across the plate. Schulte came on in relief in the inning and was able to strike Tanno out on her second plate appearance to stop the rally.
William Woods was able to muster baserunners in each of the next three innings, but weren't able to cut into the lead despite keeping Park off the board.
With the split, WWU moves to 31-18 on the year and will host Park in the deciding game of the series on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.