Utley Rewrites Record Books as CMU Softball Sweeps NWU
LINCOLN, NE - Central Methodist pitcher Aubrey Utley tossed a complete game Friday in the second contest of a doubleheader at Nebraska Wesleyan to pick up her sixth win of the season and in the process move ahead of McCall Kenney for the most wins in school history.
Central Methodist (10-9-1) won the nightcap 6-1 after taking game one against Nebraska Wesleyan (6-7) by a score of 3-1.
Only a junior, Utley has posted a whopping 56-14 record in only three seasons, surpassing Kenney's win total of 55 set between 2007-10.
Utley received all the help offensive help she would need in the early going as Courtney Dennis belted a three-run bomb over the left field fence in the top of the first inning to give the Eagles the cushion.
The Green and Black added two runs in the third after loading the bases on a walk and two singles to center field. Michele Rupard made the score 4-0 after Megan Robbins was hit by a pitch, and Bri Ford crossed home after a throwing error by Betsy Reimer.
A Mary Kate Townley RBI single to right in the next frame plated Kennedy Seifert to stretch the difference to six runs. A Kassie Knauss RBI single in the bottom of the fourth cut the Prairie Wolves' deficit to 6-1, but Utley struck out Kierstin Streff to end the inning, and Nebraska Wesleyan went down in order in the final three innings.
Dennis, Ford and Townley were each 2-for-4 at the plate. Dennis led all Eagle players with three RBI, while Rupard had two runs scored.
In her fifth complete game of the campaign, Utley (6-3) allowed only one earned run on one hit. The Trenton, Mo., native tied a season-high with eight strikeouts.
Pitcher Megan Cottier (3-2) dropped the decision after giving up six runs, five earned, on seven hits in seven innings. She also walked four.
The Eagles started Friday trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning of game one on a bases-loaded walk, but Townley tied the game in the third after Jacqulin Cappuccilli reached on a Sarah Hove fielding error.
Townley gave the Green and Black the lead for good in the fifth on Erika Reinagel's RBI single to right. Central Methodist added an insurance run two batters later when Reinagel scored following a RBI single by Rupard.
Townley was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Reinagel and Rupard each had one hit and RBI. Reinagel also scored one run and sits 13 behind Kelsey Johnley's (2009-12) school career mark of 146.
Ford (3-3) earned the game-one win in the circle, surrendering only one earned run on five hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters in her fourth complete game this season.
Marisa Garver (0-4) also pitched a complete game but took the loss after giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits.
Central Methodist resumes Heart of America Athletic Conference play on Tuesday, April 2, with a doubleheader against Peru State (Neb.). First pitch from Cox Field is set for 4 p.m. CT.