Owls Earn First-Round Sweep Over Benedictine-Springfield
FULTON, MO -- After suffering through a 85-minute delay as storm clouds rolled over Backer Field, the William Woods University softball team recovered from its slow start in game one to sweep Benedictine University-Springfield in the first round of the AMC Postseason Tournament. Kelsey Schulte went the distance in both games for WWU to move to 11-7 on the year as the Owls move to 30-17.
WWU got off to a shaky start after the delay, spotting Benedictine-Springfield four runs in the top of the first.
The Owls were able to pull one back in the bottom of the frame, as Lindsay LeCuru led off with a single and took second on a bit of smart baserunning, walking to the extra base as the Bulldog's pitcher meandered back to the circle. A one-out ground out from Caroline Sicht moved LeCuru to third, where she scored on a passed ball.
Schulte helped her own cause in the bottom of the third as she crushed a home run to right-center, kicking off a three-run inning for WWU. Back-to-back doubles by Ilissa Facchini and Sicht scored another run for the Owls, with a two-out single from Lauren Lopes pushing Sicht across to tie the game at 4-4.
Schulte, Facchini and Sicht would again tally for the Owls in the fourth to extend the lead to 7-4, with WWU putting the game well out of reach in the sixth with a two-out, three-run rally.
In the second game, the Owls took a bit to get started but erupted for six runs in the top of the fourth to leave little doubt as to the end result. Ashley DePew picked an opportune time to collect her first home run, slapping a three-run shot over left-center field. Sicht added a two-run bomb to center to finish the scoring in the frame.
The Owls looked to have the game sewn up early in the top of the fifth, but Benedictine-Springfield was able to claw two runs back in the bottom of the fifth to prolong proceedings, albeit not for long. Schulte needed just three pitches to retire the side in the sixth and downed the Bulldogs in order in the seventh for the win.
William Woods (30-17) advances to the semifinals, where they will host Park University. First pitch for the best-of-three series is set for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.