ANGOLA, Ind. - Western Illinois softball dropped a pair of Summit League games to Fort Wayne on Friday (Mar. 29). The Mastodons took its home opener 11-3 in six innings and the finale contest 9-1 in five innings.
Following the run rule losses, the Leathernecks fall to 8-12 overall and 2-5 in conference action. Fort Wayne moves to 12-6 overall and 2-0 in league play.
Game #1 Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m. CDT
Fort Wayne 11, Western Illinois 3 (6 innings)
Fort Wayne posted three runs in the first and second innings to stake an early lead and never slowed down playing to the 11-3, six inning final victory over the Leathernecks.
A leadoff single and a walk put two on in the bottom of the first for Mastodon catcher Dani Pugh who responded with a double to plate two. She later came around to score on a single giving Fort Wayne a 3-0 early lead.
Leatherneck third baseman Megg Kelly answered with a solo shot over the left field wall in the top of the second, cutting the deficit down to 3-1. The jack was her fourth of the 2013 season, all of which have come in the month of March.
The Mastodon offense remained hot in the third posting three more runs on three hits. A hit by pitch and a pair of singles loaded the bases for Fort Wayne who scored a run apiece on a single, walk and hit by pitch.
In the top of the third, Sammy Marshall legged out a triple to left center to open the frame and came around to score on a Briana Williams ground out to make it 6-2. Fort Wayne answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the third fueled by an Ashleigh Bousquet two-RBI triple.
Following a scoreless fourth, the Leatherneck offense strung together three hits to score its third run of the contest in the top of the fifth. Alex Pflieger started the inning with a double to left and a Karissa Kouchis single to center put runners on the corners with no outs. Marshall used an infield single to score Pflieger from third to notch her first RBI of the 2013 season.
However, Fort Wayne added two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth ending the game an inning early via the run rule.
Marshall led the Leatherneck offense with a perfect 3-for-3 effort at the plate including her first triple and RBI of the season. She also swiped her 16th stolen base in the contest.
Taking the loss in the circle was Kelsey Michelini who falls to 3-7 on the year. She struck out six but allowed 10 earned runs in her 5.1 innings of work. Fort Wayne's Miranda Kramer (7-3) picked up the win fanning six in her six innings pitched.
Game #2 Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m. CDT
Fort Wayne 9, Western Illinois 1 (5 innings)
The Mastodon offense remained potent in game two of the conference double header posting nine runs on 12 hits to solidify the 9-1, run rule win over Western.
The Leathernecks staked an early lead over the Mastodons in the first. Sammy Marshall opened the contest with a bunt single and reached scoring position with her 17th stolen base of the season. Briana Williams moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt, and Lia Romeo brought her home with a ground out.
In the bottom of the first, Fort Wayne answered with a Dani Pugh two-run home run to take a 2-1 lead. Following a scoreless second, the Mastodons added another run in the third. A leadoff single and stolen base from Larissa Franklin set Pugh up to pick up another RBI with a single to left.
Fort Wayne went on to post five runs in the fourth, highlighted by an Ashleigh Bousquet grand slam to extend its lead to 8-1.
Then in the fifth, the Mastodons enacted a rally with two outs to end the game early by run rule. Back-to-back singles by Franklin and Alex Bousquet set the table for Ashleigh Bousquet who once again capitalized on an RBI opportunity with a walk off double.
Kacyee Hart (3-3) took the loss in the circle for the Leathernecks. She struck out three and allowed six earned runs. Fort Wayne's Megan Flenniken posted the win moving her record to 4-3 on the year holding Western to two hits.
Marshall and Teagan Walsh tallied one hit apiece, while Romeo notched the lone RBI for the Leathernecks.
The final game of the Summit League series has been pushed back to 1 p.m. CDT at Fort Wayne. The contest will not be played at neutral site Trine University.