Ashley Kingery was at the plate for two plays that accounted for three Lady Statesmen runs
Oskaloosa--Twoevenly-matched programs faced off Tuesday with host William Penn claiming a sweep over visiting Grand View in Midwest Collegiate Conference play.
William Penn (17-11, 5-1 MCC) won by scores of 4-3 and 3-2, and are now a game ahead of the Vikings (12-19, 4-2 MCC) for second in a wild league race.
To better clarify what ‘wild' means, also on Tuesday, 3-10 Clarke swept Ashford, who split with the Lady Statesmen last Sunday, while 6-17 Iowa Wesleyan swept St. Ambrose, who split with Ashford last week.
Mount Mercy, at 0-2, is the only team without a win, but its two setbacks were tight ball games against the navy and gold last Wednesday. Simply put, it is going to be a ‘wild' ride during the month of April.
In Oskaloosa, the Vikings got on the board first with a run in the fourth. William Penn answered back with two in the bottom half when a hard line drive by Ashley Kingery (Jr., Knoxville, Knoxville HS) just drifted over the glove of the Grand View left fielder, allowing Ashley Stream (Sr., Chariton, Chariton HS) and Khyia Lewis (Sr., Ottumwa, Ottumwa HS) to score on the error.
The squad tacked on two more in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Brianne Rowley (Sr., Hood River, Ore., Blue Mountain CC) and Lewis that plated Ashlee Dennis (Fr., Loveland, Colo., Mountain View HS) and Rowley.
Jennifer Whitehead (So., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS) cruised through the first six frames, but ran into some trouble in the seventh. Fortunately, with the tying run at third base and the go-ahead run at second, the sophomore got Caitlyn Carmichael to ground out to Stream at shortstop to end the game.
Whitehead moved to 7-6 (her first time over .500 this year) in spite of her team's three errors (one by herself). She did not allow an earned run in a four-hit complete game. This week's MCC Pitcher of the Week struck out five and walked one.
The Lady Statesmen outhit their foes 6-4, including two each by Dennis and Lewis.
The nightcap was a near mirror image of the opener. Rowley gave the hosts the first advantage when she powered a two-run home run over the left-center fence. She now has a team-leading seven roundtrippers on the year, including three in the last four games. Molly Miller (Jr., Kalona, Mid-Prairie HS) also scored on the hit.
William Penn then plated an important insurance run in the sixth inning.
After Christine Gamble (Sr., Pahrump, Nev., Pahrump Valley HS) was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs, Kingery made Grand View pay by connecting on a single that stayed just fair down the left-field line. Lewis scored to extend the margin to 3-0.
The run was monumentally huge because the Vikings again rallied in their final inning, scoring twice against starting pitcher Nicole Danna(Jr., Boone, Iowa Central CC). Just as Whitehead did, the junior allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to reach scoring position. The difference was Danna had only recorded one out.
Danna fortunately also averted the catastrophe, though, as Anna Arnold lined out to Stream, who immediately tossed over third baseman KC Routos (Jr., Newcastle, Wash., Pierce CC) to finish the double play as pinchrunner Jessica George failed to retreat to the bag in time.
Six Lady Statesmen had one base knock each as Grand View held a 7-6 advantage in hits.
Danna struck out three and walked three in improving to 6-3.
Next: William Penn hosts the MCC's first Challenge Weekend Saturday and Sunday at the Lacey Softball Complex. The Lady Statesmen play twice Saturday, meeting Clarke at 11 a.m. and Iowa Wesleyan at 1:15 p.m.