Oskaloosa–The Statesmen softball team has been on the losing end of several close games this spring, but on Sunday the program reversed its fortunes with a non-conference doubleheader sweep of Mount Mercy.
WPU (19-24), which won by scores of 5-4 and 4-3, is now 5-1 in its last six contests.
The Mustangs (14-20) tallied the day’s first run in the top of the third, but Chyanne Koko (So., Waianae, Hawaii, Business Management) matched that run in the bottom half with a double that plated Kodee Johnson (Jr., Stockton, Calif., General Mathematics).
The hosts then pulled out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth. Johnson brought in Vernon on a single and Marissa Pereyra (Sr., Fullerton, Calif., Exercise Science) touched home on a single via Jarrah Jensen (Jr., Blakesburg, Iowa, Physical Education). Johnson also came around on the play courtesy of an MMU error.
Mount Mercy was the one with the answer this time around, posting three tallies in the fifth to tie the game at 4-4.
Fortunately, the navy and gold managed the final run when, after WPU packed the bases in the sixth, Kayla Browning (Jr. Spring Valley, Calif., Biology) earned her way on and sent Breann Robertson (Fr., Rainier, Wash., Human Services and Sociology) in on a hit-by-pitch.
Johnson posted a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored, while Pereyra and Taylor Vernon (So., Tracy, Calif., Biology) were each 2-for-3. The Statesmen owned a 9-7 advantage in hits.
Elizabeth Whitaker (Jr., Azalea, Ore., Exercise Science) earned the win in relief; the junior managed three strikeouts in three frames of work. Koko had one strikeout in the start, while permitting just one run in four innings.
William Penn scored in its initial at-bats of the nightcap when Koko doubled home Johnson in the first frame. Mount Mercy then tallied all three of its runs in the third and stayed on top for the next two innings.
The hosts clawed back in one run at a time. First, it was Jensen singling in Johnson in the third, then Hayley Freestone (Fr., Las Vegas, Nev., Business Management) scored on a single by Siarra Velasquez (Sr., Carter Lake, Iowa, Biology) in the fourth.
The rally was capped in walk-off fashion. After loading the pads with two outs, Pereyra stepped to the plate and crushed a single to the right-center fence to plate Johnson with the winning run.
Highlighted by Johnson’s 3-for-4 effort, WPU owned an 11-10 edge in hits. Robertson also had a multi-hit showing by going 2-for-2.
Whitaker notched her second win of the day with five strikeouts and no walks in a complete game.
Next Up: William Penn travels to Olathe, Kan. Monday to face MidAmerica Nazarene in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage