Sun, Apr. 15, 2012 - [Softball]
William Penn's title is its sixth in 11 seasons as an MCC member
Morrison, Ill.--The Lady Statesmen softball team finally saw its lengthy winning streak end Sunday, but with a win and some help from other rivals, it accomplished a much larger goal at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Weekend.
William Penn (33-12, 16-2 MCC) fell to Viterbo 3-0, but then rebounded with a 4-3, nine-inning win over Ashford. The team's winning streak, which started on March 27, was snapped at 17 games.
With its victory over the Saints and losses by second-place Mount Mercy and Grand View, the navy and gold picked up a share of the regular season title. It is the program's sixth crown in 11 seasons as a member of the MCC (third in last four years).
Also, with tiebreakers over both the Mustangs and the Vikings, William Penn has secured the top seed for the MCC Tournament.
The Lady Statesmen did not start the day very merrily as they were shut out for just the second time this spring. The team held an 8-5 edge in hits over Viterbo (11-19, 9-9 MCC), but failed to have anyone touch home plate.
Ashlee Dennis (Fr., Loveland, Colo., Mountain View HS) led her squad with a 3-for-4 performance, while Ashley Stream (Sr., Chariton, Chariton HS) added two base knocks.
The V-Hawks scored all three of their runs in the third on a double by Melissa Weaver. Jennifer Whitehead (So., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS) lasted just four innings in her first non-complete game. The loss drops her to 15-7. Mariah Trujillo (Fr., Arvada, Colo., Arvada HS) relieved the southpaw in the fifth and limited her foes to only two hits in three shutout frames (six strikeouts, no walks).
Sunday's second game started much better with Rikki Picariello (Sr., Port Coquitlam, B.C., Olympic CC) scoring in the third on a groundout of Molly Miller (Jr., Kalona, Mid-Prairie HS).
The advantage lasted an inning before Ashford (22-20, 7-11 MCC) put all three of its runs across in the bottom of the fourth.
William Penn continued to trail 3-1 until the final inning. The team fortunately never panicked, and despite being down to its final out, battled to plate two and force extras. Athena Rosario (Sr., Bremerton, Wash., Olympic CC) and pinchrunner Brailey Freed (Jr., Loveland, Colo., Otero CC) both rounded the bases on a Saint error.
Both teams were turned away in the eighth, but the Lady Statesmen fared better in the ninth, taking the lead for good on a Khyia Lewis (Sr., Ottumwa, Ottumwa HS) single that scored Miller.
Brianne Rowley (Sr., Hood River, Ore., Blue Mountain CC) tallied three hits in four at-bats as William Penn bettered Ashford 10-4 in that category. Miller added two hits.
Nicole Danna (Jr., Boone, Iowa Central CC) started the contest and last 4 1/3 innings before handing the ball over to Amber Daly (Sr., Napa, Calif., Solano CC).
The senior was terrific in relief, surrendering only one hit in 4 2/3 frames. She struck out one to improve to 7-2 in 2012.
Next: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Monday to host Iowa Wesleyan in an MCC doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.