Statesmen Split Pair of One-Run Contests
Oskaloosa–The William Penn softball was seeking a much-needed doubleheader sweep Tuesday, but had to settle for a 1-1 day against Graceland in Heart of America Athletic Conference play.
WPU (18-19, 6-12 Heart) lost the first game 7-6, but bounced back for a 3-2 win in the second outing.
The hosts grabbed the early advantage in game one with three runs in the second frame, highlighted by a double from Taylor Vernon (Jr., Tracy, Calif., Biology) that brought in Emily Brown (Jr., Waverly, Iowa, Biology).
The Yellowjackets (15-15, 7-9 Heart) rallied back with five unanswered runs, including four in the fifth inning.
The Statesmen closed to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth when Michelle Castro (Fr., Acampo, Calif., Business Management) scored on one of GU’s three errors
Graceland extended the lead back to three at 7-4 with a run in both the sixth and seventh, but William Penn left one last push for the bottom of the seventh. Castro walked and Koko hit a double, and then both came all the way around on single by Jenny Navarro (Jr., Bellflower, Calif.). Unfortunately, the home squad failed to finish the comeback in the opener.
WPU was outhit 12-8 with Castro and Kacey Lutz (Jr., Lodi, Calif., Business Management) both going 2-for-3. Castro scored twice and Navarro tallied two RBIs.
The Statesmen, who committed three fielding mistakes in the first contest, had similar issues in the nightcap with another trio of errors. Fortunately, the team overcame those issues with some timely hitting and a strong pitching performance by Tabitha Scott (So., Placentia, Calif., Psychology).
Six hits were recorded by both sides, but none was bigger for WPU than a pinch-hitting base knock by Gabrielle Braniff (Sr., Olympia, Wash., Public Accounting and Business Management) in the fourth.
Navarro drove in Kodee Johnson (Sr., Stockton, Calif., General Mathematics) in the first, but GU answered with a two-run third frame.
Still down 2-1 in the fourth, William Penn started its rally when Casey Tamanaha (Fr., Pamona, Calif., Sociology) and Lutz reached on consecutive hits. Braniff then stepped to the plate and brought both of her teammates around on a single.
Two days after limiting Culver-Stockton to one run on only two hits, Scott did not permit an earned run in another complete game. The sophomore struck out five against two walks.
Next Up: William Penn travels to Kansas City, Mo. Friday to face Avila in a Heart doubleheader at 1 p.m.