MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois softball pounded out 21 hits and cruised past South Dakota State in a doubleheader sweep Friday (March 16). The Fighting Leathernecks (12-13, 4-1 Summit League) have won six straight games and look for the series sweep Saturday (March 17) at noon.
Western Illinois 7, South Dakota State 2
March 16, 2012 - 3 p.m.
Western Illinois used nine hits and three SDSU errors to cruise to a 7-2 victory in Game One. Jamie Goss went 3-for-4 while Lia Romeo (2-for-2) and Sammy Marshall (two stolen bases) both scored two runs to lead the Fighting Leatherneck offensive effort. Marshall leads the nation and is a perfect 28-for-28 in stolen bases this season.
Kelsey Michelini (7-4) lasted 4 1/3 innings in the circle and earned her team-high seventh win of the season. She struck out four batters and allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits. Michelini also walked five batters but Fighting Leatherneck pitching stranded 10 Jackrabbits overall.
Marshall started Western's two-run first inning with a bunt single to the pitcher. Marshall stood on third base with two outs after two stolen bases. Romeo brought Marshall home with a single down the right field line and Meg Kelly followed with a double to left center. Ashley Campbell drove home Romeo with a single through the right side.
Western Illinois scored two runs on just one hit in the third inning. Goss singled up the middle on the first pitch of the inning and Romeo was hit by a pitch. Campbell and Teagan Walsh reached on consecutive fielder's choices and Emma Jarrell's two-out walk brought home Romeo. Briana Williams was then hit by a pitch and Campbell trotted home to make it 4-0.
The Jackrabbits got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with two runs on three hits off Michelini. Bickford relieved Michelini with two runners on and one out. Bickford retired two straight Jackrabbits to escape the inning with minimal damage.
Aided by two costly SDSU errors, Western Illinois responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jarrell walked with one out and Williams reached on an error by the SDSU shortstop. Marshall then reached on an error by the catcher and Jarrell scored. Dunne's groundout to second base scored Williams and Goss' two-out single brought Marshall home.
Bickford allowed two hits over the final two innings to close out Western Illinois' sixth consecutive win. She struck out three batters including Sammy Bingham swinging to end the game.
Western Illinois 9, South Dakota State 3
March 16, 2012 - 5 p.m.
Teagan Walsh delivered a season-best performance in the circle and Western Illinois' huge second inning propelled the Fighting Leathernecks to a 9-3 victory in Game Two.
The Western Illinois offensive collected 12 hits overall and put up four runs in both the second and sixth inning. Ashley Campbell hit her fourth home run of the season and drove in two runs while KC Dunne (2-for-3) scored two runs and stole two bases.
Walsh (2-3) lasted five innings and allowed three runs and five hits. She struck out three and walked three batters. For the second consecutive game, Hailey Bickford tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to secure the win.
Dunne singled with one out in the first inning, stole second base and Goss singled her to third base. With two outs and Kelly at the plate, Dunne ran home on a delayed steal with Romeo.
SDSU's two-out rally in the second inning produced one run and tied the game at 1-1. Marlee Petersen singled home Samantha Terry but Walsh struck out Kelly Kleppin to end the frame.
Campbell led off Western Illinois' four-run second inning with a towering home run over the center field wall. Walsh and Jarrell collected consecutive walks before Williams' RBI single scored Walsh. Dunne's sacrifice fly scored Jarrell and Romeo's deep sacrifice fly to centerfield scored Williams.
Walsh kept SDSU quiet until the sixth inning when the Jackrabbits scored two runs on two hits. Three straight reached against Walsh to lead off the inning. Bickford relieved Walsh and walked Tina Winter to load the bases. Bickford retired the next three batters but not before SDSU pushed across a pair to trim the Western Illinois lead to 5-3.
Marshall's leadoff bunt single ignited a four-run sixth inning for Western Illinois. Dunne followed with a single through the left side and Marshall advanced to third. Goss was thrown out at first on a bunt attempt but Marshall trotted home on the throw. Romeo then reached on a fielder's choice and Dunne hurried home. Following Kelly's single to left field, Campbell doubled over the right fielder's head to score Romero. After a pitching change, Walsh singled up the middle to score Kelly.
Bickford closed out the game in the seventh inning with help from Marshall and Goss. Following Reick's one-out double, Marshall made a great play on Emily Weber's grounder in the hole and Goss fired it over to Kelly at third to catch Reick attempting to advance.