Olathe, Kan.–William Penn softball team was looking to gain some ground in the league standings Wednesday, but instead fell a bit more off the pace as it was swept by MidAmerica Nazarene in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader.
WPU (19-28, 6-12 Heart) lost by scores of 8-0 (5 innings) and 3-2 (8 innings). The Statesmen, who need to finish in the top eight in the Heart standings to qualify for the conference tournament, are currently ninth and one game behind Missouri Valley (6-10) for the final berth.
Kodee Johnson (Jr., Stockton, Calif., General Mathematics) gave the impression that the navy and gold would have a big night as she opened the first game with a double. Unfortunately, she was stranded in that frame and WPU was only able to produce two more hits as MNU (20-12, 10-8 Heart) took the opener.
The visitors, who were outhit 13-3 in the first matchup, finally got on the board with one run in the first inning of the nightcap on a Marissa Pereyra (Sr., Fullerton, Calif., Exercise Science) double that plated Tabitha Scott (Fr., Placentia, Calif., Psychology).
The Pioneers did not trail for long, answering to take a 2-1 advantage after one frame. William Penn was setting up for a big inning in the fifth as it loaded the bases with only one out. Pereyra drove in the tying run on a hit-by-pitch, but that was all the squad could muster.
On three other occasions, the Statesmen landed runners in scoring position, including putting Gabrielle Braniff (Jr., Olympia, Wash., Public Accounting and Business Management) on third base in the eighth, but they failed to come up with any additional run support for pitcher Elizabeth Whitaker (Jr., Azalea, Ore., Exercise Science).
MNU wrapped up the double dip in the bottom half of the eighth, scoring the game-winner on WPU’s second error of the contest.
William Penn owned an 8-5 advantage in hits with Brooklyn Bantz (So., Smithville, Mo., Psychology and Human Services) going 2-for-4. Seven different Statesmen starters tallied at least one hit in the setback, while Whitaker struck out four against three walks. Only one of the three runs she allowed was earned.
Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Saturday to host Evangel in a Heart doubleheader beginning at noon. The twinbill will also serve as Senior Day.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage