Statesmen Snag Necessary Heart Sweep

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen softball team recorded some timely hits and Katie Springer (So., Riverside, Iowa, Undecided) came up big twice out of the bullpen as William Penn swept Culver-Stockton in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader Tuesday.

William Penn (22-29, 10-22 Heart) won by scores of 7-5 and 9-7. The wins, coupled with a 1-1 day for Graceland, sets up a huge league twinbill Thursday against the Yellowjackets in Lamoni (4 p.m. start). The Statesmen trail GU by one game for the North Division’s final berth in the Heart Tournament.

The Wildcats (22-24, 15-20 Heart) claimed the early lead with one run in the top of the first, but the hosts tied it up in the bottom of the second on a single by Brooklyn Bantz (Jr., Smithville, Mo., Psychology and Human Services) that brought in Michelle Castro (Fr., Acampo, Calif., Business Management).

C-SC went back ahead with three third-inning runs. WPU then narrowed the deficit to two in the bottom of the third when Castro’s double scored Chyanne Koko (Jr., Waianae, Hawaii, Physical Education).

Down 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Dalaney Bice (Fr., Woodward, Iowa, Human Services and Psychology) produced the biggest pop of the night as she pounded a three-run home run over the center field fence. Castro and Emily Brown (Jr., Waverly, Iowa, Biology) also touched home on the roundtripper–Bice’s first of the year.

The navy and gold then took the advantage for the first time, and for good, in the bottom of the sixth. Brown’s single plated Kacey Lutz (Jr., Lodi, Calif., Business Management), while Bice also doubled in Castro.

Katie Springer (So., Riverside, Iowa, Undecided), who entered in the top of the fifth, retired the Wildcats in order in the seventh with three straight groundouts to earn the victory. The sophomore permitted just one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless innings; she also struck out two batters.

WPU owned a 12-9 edge in hits as Bice was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Castro was also 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Lutz notched two base knocks as well.

William Penn took advantage of two first-inning C-SC errors as it blew out to a 6-0 advantage in the second game. Jenny Navarro (Jr., Bellflower, Calif.), with a single to score Castro, and Brown, with a double to bring in Bice, had run-scoring hits before Bantz provided a double that plated both Navarro and Brown.

Unfortunately, things unraveled quickly as the visitors scored once in the second and five more times in the third to knot the nightcap at 6-6.

Castro gave WPU the edge back in the fourth as she hit her third homer of the season, also tallying Lutz. Both squads each added one more run in the sixth as Castro knocked in Lutz on a two-bagger.

The Statesmen overcame being outhit 14-9. Brown, Castro, and Kodee Johnson (Sr., Stockton, Calif., General Mathematics) all finished with two hits. Castro produced three RBIs and two runs, while Lutz came around on three occasions. Bantz also had two RBIs.

Springer once again stepped up in a relief performance, permitting just one run on five hits in 4 1/3 frames. She managed three strikeouts.

Story provided by Wade Steinlage


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