Rachford breaks out in doubleheader sweep
Freshman records six hits in two games
March 29, 2013
Freshman Megan Rachford recorded six hits in Saturday's doubleheader
TIFFIN – Freshman Megan Rachford had her breakout performance of the season Saturday as Wilmington swept an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader from Heidelberg, 4-0 and 6-3.
Rachford (Germantown, OH/Valley View), who entered the game with just 10 hits on the season, busted out for six in the two games – including going 4-for-4 in the nightcap. She probably had the biggest hit of the second game, leading off the seventh inning with a double.
“Megan hit the ball hard all day long and had an outstanding day at the plate,” said head coach Beth Floyd. “We knew she was going to get better and better. She is a good hitter, and it just took a little bit of adjusting to the college game.”
Heidelberg had just pulled to within one run at 4-3 with two runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning, and Rachford helped the Lady Quakers get those runs right back. After leading off the seventh with the aforementioned double, she moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a triple by freshman Megan Warren (Grove City, OH/Grove City). Warren scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Stacy Lunsford (Wilmington, OH/Clinton-Massie).
Those runs proved pivotal as Heidelberg put the first two runners on base to begin the bottom of the seventh. However, junior Danielle Monnier (Houston, OH/Houston), who came on in relief to end the sixth inning, induced a pop up followed by back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
Wilmington the scoring with a two-run homerun by senior Brooke Byrne (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) in the first inning, then picked up two more in the second for a 4-1 lead. The lead stood until the Student Princes mounted a comeback in the sixth.
Lunsford and Byrne were each 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run, while junior Erika Lee (Blanchester, OH/Blanchester) was also 2-for-4.
Sophomore Jess Clutter (Englewood, OH/Northmont) improved to 5-3 on the season, allowing three unearned runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Monnier recorded the final four outs of the game to earn her first save of the season.
“I just felt the momentum shifting,” Floyd said of the pitching change in the sixth. “Jess pitched an outstanding game. They couldn’t hit Danielle in the first game, so it made sense to stop their momentum. It was very important for our pitchers to bounce back from the Marietta games where we didn’t perform as well as we were capable.”
In the opener, the Lady Quakers took advantage of two Heidelberg errors to tally score four runs in the second inning. It would be all the offense Monnier (7-1) needed. The junior struck out eight and allowed just one hit in the complete game shutout.
Monnier took the no-hit bid into the sixth inning before giving up a bloop single to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second, she got out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
Rachford led off the second inning with a double, and moved to third on a wild pitch. One out later, Warren executed a safety squeeze, and reached on the error. Back-to-back singles by Lunsford and sophomore Allie Noggle (Ashville, OH/Teays Valley), the latter brought Warren home with the second run of the game.
Another error allowed Lunsford and Noggle to score with the third and fourth runs of the inning.
Lunsford and Rachford recorded two hits for the Lady Quakers in the opener.
Wilmington (14-4 overall, 2-2 OAC) returns to action 3:30 p.m. Monday in non-conference action against Franklin.