William Penn Athletics News–March 16‏

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

Statesmen Drop Home-Opening DH to GPAC Favorite

Oskaloosa–Playing on its friendly confines for the first time this year was not enough to carry the William Penn baseball team past Northwestern as it was swept in a non-conference twinbill Saturday.

The Statesmen (11-5) fell by scores of 6-5 (8 innings) and 3-1.

The hosts hopped out to an early lead in the initial contest when William Vazquez (Fr., North Hollywood, Calif., General Accounting) drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to bring home Kyle Mauricio (Sr., Ardene Hills, Minn., Physical Education).

Josh Ruiz (Jr., Chula Vista, Calif., General Mathematics) was solid through the first three frames, but the Red Raiders pounced on him in the fourth. The first four NWC batters reached base in a five-run inning. Northwestern is expected to repeat its Great Plains Athletic Conference title.

WPU got one back in the bottom half when Vazquez touched home plate. Still down 5-2 entering the final inning, the navy and gold began a huge rally with back-to-back singles by Enrique Alvarado (Sr., Lancaster, Calif., Sociology) and Mauricio. Alvarado eventually scored run #3 on a passed ball and then Stan Simmons (Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y., Physical Education) and Matt Emerson (Jr., Saugus, Calif., Business Management) both rounded the bases on a Vazquez single to force extra frames.

Unfortunately, Northwestern (17-3), went back up with one tally in the eighth and held on for its 16th-straight win. Both sides managed nine hits with Mauricio leading the way at 3-for-4. Vazquez was 2-for-3 (one walk) with three RBIs, while Brian Williams (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif., Physical Education) walked three times.

Ruiz struck out four (three walks) in 3 2/3 innings (five runs–three earned–on five hits), but did not figure into the decision. Rafael Villafana (Sr., Sylmar, Calif., Communications), who also tossed 3 2/3 frames (one run–earned–on three hits), took the loss to fall to 1-1. He struck out two, while Corey Lathram (Sr., Brentwood, Calif., Physical Education) had one strikeout (one hit) in 2/3 of an inning as the final Statesmen hurler.

A pitching duel ensued in the nightcap as WPU was outhit 5-4. The game was scoreless through four innings, but Northwestern finally broke through in the top of the fifth, only to see the home team knot things up in the bottom half.

Pinchrunner Corey DeRush (Jr., Grand Junction, Colo., Business Management), on the paths for Nick Perez (So., Greeley, Colo., Physical Education) who was hit by pitch, moved to second and third on singles and eventually touched the final pad on a groundout.

The Red Raiders unfortunately had the final say, producing a two-run seventh inning. WPU did manage to get the tying runs into scoring position with only one out, but could not bring in either player.

Four different Statesmen batters had one base knock each with Patrick Roxbury (Jr., Canyon Country, Calif., Sociology) and Nick Perez (So., Greeley, Colo., Physical Education) both reaching base twice.

Jon Davis (Jr., Hayward, Calif., Undecided) was productive in the start, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits in six innings. He struck out two with two walks, but did not receive a decision. That decision went to Matt Vasquez (Jr., Lancaster, Calif., Business Management) as he accepted his first blemish to fall to 3-1. The junior entered in the seventh and permitted one run (earned) on one hit (two walks).

Next: William Penn travels to Lamoni Thursday to face Graceland in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.

WPU Pounds Mount Mercy for MCC-Opening Sweep

Oskaloosa–Courtesy of three long bombs, the Statesmen softball team rolled over Mount Mercy in its home-opening and Midwest Collegiate Conference-opening doubleheader Saturday.

The Statesmen (9-6, 2-0 MCC) won by scores of 6-0 and 10-2 (5 innings).

Brittanee Grove (Jr., Runnells, Iowa, Elementary Education) produced the first roundtripper of the day in the first inning, also scoring sister Malloree Grove (Sr., Runnells, Iowa, Physical Education) on the hit. It was her team-leading third home run of the season.

The team’s third run was brought around in the second when Ashlee Dennis (Jr., Loveland, Colo., Biology) singled in pinchrunner Tori Albaugh (So., Sigourney, Iowa, Elementary Education) who was on the pads for Steviee Grove (Sr., Runnells, Iowa, History/Government) (leadoff single).

The contest’s final three runs came via a three-run homer by Bri Zerley (Jr., Monroe, Iowa, Biology). Brittanee Grove and Jessica Christensen (So., Marysville, Wash., Sociology) scored as well.

Brittanee Grove, Christensen, and Steviee Grove were all 2-for-3 as WPU held a 9-5 edge in hits over the Mustangs (5-6, 0-2 MCC).

Jennifer Whitehead (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Biology), who is now 7-0 in her final collegiate campaign, only permitted five hits, while striking out eight (one walk). The senior now has four shutouts in her first seven appearances.

William Penn’s offensive prowess only strengthened in the nightcap with 11 hits (MMU held to five).

Zerley got things started with a two-run home run in the first–her second of the season. Brittanee Grove singled in Malloree Grove earlier in the frame as well.

Sonia Ray (Sr., San Diego, Calif., Physical Education) made it 4-0 in the second by scoring on a wild pitch, while Malloree Grove again touched home plate due to a Mustang error.

The visitors finally got on the board with one run in both the third and fourth innings to narrow WPU’s margin to 5-2.

Ray then accounted for two more runs in the four-run fourth, singling in Zerley and Ashley Bezdicek (Jr., Walla Walla, Wash., Business Management). Jorden Steele (Jr., Tacoma, Wash., Physical Education) scored on another MMU error, while Brittanee Grove rounded the bases on a Zerley single.

With Malloree Grove representing the winning run at third base with two outs in the fifth, Mount Mercy intentionally walked both Brittanee Grove and Christensen to get to Zerley. The junior made them pay, however, with another one-bagger to close it out.

Malloree Grove and Zerley each finished 3-for-4, while Bezdicek and Ray were 2-for-3. Steele drew a pair of walks.

Lunden Young (Jr., Lewiston, Idaho, Physical Education) started in the circle, but was relieved by Brittanee Grove after 1 2/3 innings (one strikeout, one walk). Brittanee Grove (Jr., Runnells, Iowa, Elementary Education), who picked up her first WPU win (1-3), allowed two runs (both earned) on five hits in 3 1/3 frames. The junior struck out two and walked one.

Next: William Penn has a busy weekend upcoming, beginning with two games Friday on Day One of the William Penn Classic. It faces Michigan-Dearborn at 3 p.m. and Madonna (Mich.) at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Statesmen host Clarke in an MCC doubleheader at 1 p.m. The team returns to play within the Classic on Sunday, taking on Davenport (Mich.) at 9 a.m. and Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) at 11 a.m.

Statesmen Fall Short of Return Trip to Nationals

Fort Worth, Texas–The William Penn men’s bowling team produced a valiant rally, but could not come up with enough pins to get back to nationals by placing seventh at the xBowling Intercollegiate Team Sectionals Saturday and Sunday.

The Statesmen, who competed in a 19-team field, managed 12,151 pins in 64 Baker games. #6 Wichita State (Kan.) led wire-to-wire for the tourney title with 13,237 pins, while #4 Midland (Neb.) was second with 12,669 pins. #16 Fresno State (Calif.) and #12 Marian (Ind.) rounded out the qualifying group.

The top four programs will now meet up with 12 more teams from the three other sectionals at the xBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships on April 16-18 in Reno, Nev.

William Penn, which entered the event 11th in the nation, dug itself a huge hole after the first set to be in 15th. The navy and gold bounced back in the second set, though, moving all the way up to seventh by tying for the second-best tally. Unfortunately, the Statesmen fumbled a bit to drop back to eighth and could not make up the difference in the end. The team finished 131 pins back of the last qualifying spot.

Members of the sectionals squad included Drew Balta (Sr., Walford, Iowa, Education), Brandon Barboza (Jr., Brick, N.J., Sociology), Cameron Foster (Sr., West Jordan, Utah, Business Management), Ryan Howard (Fr., King, N.C., Music), Jacques Kaune (So., Anchorage, Alaska, Business Management), Conan Mackey (Jr., Bray, Ireland, Public Accounting), Piet Schaeffer (Sr., Livingston, Scotland, General Mathematics), and Travis Scott (So., West Saint Paul, Minn., Physical Education).

Next: William Penn takes a week off before traveling to Indianapolis, Ind. on March 29-30 for the season-ending NAIA Invitational.

WPU Women Place Seventh at Sectionals

Fort Worth, Texas–The Statesmen women’s bowling team had a great showing, but it was not enough to get over the hump at the xBowling Intercollegiate Team Sectionals Saturday and Sunday.

William Penn finished seventh out of 13 teams with 11,826 pins in 64 Baker games. Top-ranked Wichita State (Kan.) held off #32 Stephen F. Austin (Texas) 13,159-12,894 for the crown. #7 Midland (Neb.) and #11 Newman (Kan.) rounded out the qualifying group.

The top four programs will now meet up with 12 more teams from the three other sectionals at the xBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships on April 16-18 in Reno, Nev.

#26 William Penn was in prime position early, sitting in third after the first set, but fell off a bit in the second block into fifth. The squad unfortunately dropped one more rung entering the final set and just could not back into the top four in the final 16 games. WPU was 416 pins behind Newman for the last qualifying spot.

Members of the sectionals squad included Stephanie Adams (Fr., Souris, Manitoba, Business Management), MacKenzie Boyd (Fr., Knoxville, Iowa, Physical Education), Emily Braga (So., Newton, Iowa, Communications), Niona Bruce (Fr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sociology & Psychology), Blair Farris (So., Washington, Iowa, Elementary Education), Kaelee Fountain (Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Psychology & Sociology), Kirstin Newberry (Sr., Holland, Mich., Secondary Education), and Montana Pence (Fr., Stronghurst, Ill., Elementary Education).

Next: William Penn takes a week off before traveling to Indianapolis, Ind. on March 29-30 for the season-ending NAIA Invitational.

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