Becker's blast boosts WC to split
April 18, 2013
Kelsey Becker produced a game-winning, two-out in the opener. She has raised her batting averaged from .167 to .286. (Wilmington file photo)
ADA – Kelsey Becker’s two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh inning boosted the Wilmington College softball team to the 5-3 victory in the opener of their Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader split with Ohio Northern. The Lady Quakers fell 9-3 in the nightcap.
“We are in good position to make a solid run and anytime you can get a win over a solid OAC team, you are pleased,” said head coach Beth Floyd.
Becker (Clarksville, IN/Clarksville) has hits in four straight games, all multi-hit games, raising her batting average from .167 to .286. In those four games, the senior catcher has recorded nine of her 16 hits on the season. Her game-winning hit in the opener capped a 3-for-4 day in which she added two runs scored.
Brooke Byrne (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) opened the seventh by reaching on an error, and moved to second on a bunt single from Caitlin Shilling (Waverly, OH/Waverly). After a series of fielder’s choices, WC had bases loaded with two outs bringing up Becker, who came through in the clutch.
Wilmington was able to claim the victory after Danielle Monnier (Houston, OH/Houston) wiggled out of trouble in the sixth. The Polar Bears strung together three straight hits to tie the game and put insurance runs on second and third.
With the game potentially hanging in the balance, Floyd made the decision to walk the bases loaded.
“I am very confident in my team,” said Floyd. “I knew I had a fighter on the mound, and I am just very confident in our team. I just had to make the coaching decision to put them in the best position to be successful.”
Monnier and the defense made the decision look brilliant. Back-to-back outs at the plate on fielder’s choice and a lineout to left enabled WC to get out of the sixth inning tied.
ONU took the lead with a run in the first, but a two-double by Stacy Lunsford (Wilmington, OH/Clinton-Massie) scored Becker with the tying run in the second. The Lady Quakers took the lead in the fourth inning on two unearned runs. The Polar Bears got a run back in the fourth before pulling even in the sixth.
Monnier (11-3) scattered a season-high 12 hits with five strikeouts, allowing three runs (two earned) in earning the victory. Lunsford and Shilling were each 2-for-4 in the win.
Ohio Northern scored six runs in the second and two in the third in salvaging the split. Jess Clutter (Englewood, OH/Northmont) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits in four innings of work.
Nine different players recorded hits in the loss, including multi-hit efforts from Becker and Allie Noggle (Ashville, OH/Teays Valley). Shilling added her team-high ninth homerun in the seventh inning.
Wilmington (19-9 overall, 5-7 OAC) returns to the diamond Saturday with a pivotal OAC doubleheader with Mount Union.