Owls Blank Hannibal-LaGrange In Doubleheader Sweep
FULTON, MO -- The William Woods University softball team opened up American Midwest Conference action on Tuesday with a pair of shutout wins over Hannibal-LaGrange University. MacKenzie Bowden allowed just three hits and struck out 10 in just 5.0 innings of work as the Owls cruised to an 8-0 win in the opener, with Kelsey Schulte striking out three in a 3-0 shutout win.
The Owls capitalized on a Trojan error in the bottom of the second to open the scoring, adding two more runs in the bottom of the third for a 3-0 lead. After Ashley DePew led off the inning with a single to short, a pair of sacrifice bunts put her in scoring position. After Schulte singled to plate DePew, she would score on a double to deep right by Caroline Sicht.
Hannibal-LaGrange was able to threaten in the top of the fourth, as Rachel Hughes doubled to open the inning, moving to third on a single by Megan Skinner. Bowden would quickly snuff the threat, however, fanning the next two batters she faced.
WWU wasn't able to score in the fourth and held the Trojans scoreless in the top of the fifth, before finishing off the Trojans in the bottom of the fifth. The Owls scored five runs without an out to put an early end to proceedings.
In the nightcap, the Owls batted first due to AMC Softball regulations and got on the board quickly, opening the top of the first with two runs. Ilissa Facchini belted a one-out double, advancing to third on a single by Schulte. Sicht plated Facchini with a single deep to left-center, with Macy Wierschem loading the bases as she reached on a fielder's choice to short. Schulte broke for home, but a quick throw to the catcher froze her halfway down the line. Looking to be caught in a rundown, she reversed the threat as she retreated toward third, looking to go home and stalling the catcher long enough to dive safely back into the bag. Nicole Hamdorf would give Schulte enough of a cushion to score as she grounded out to second.
The Owls were able to add another run in the top of the second, but neither team was able to capitalize on threatening positions through the remaining five innings, with William Woods closing out 3-0 winners.
WWU moves to 13-10 on the year and moves to the top of the AMC standings with a 2-0 record. Hannibal-LaGrange falls to 7-19 on the year, 3-3 in conference action. The Owls will step out of league play for a pair of doubleheaders, hosting MidAmerica Nazarene on Saturday and Baker University on Sunday. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m.