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Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - page 2

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softball sweeps away Garnet
in CC opener

While Mother Nature may have kept the Muhlenberg softball team off the field for a week, she could not dampen the Mule offense in its first Centennial Conference doubleheader against Swarthmore.

Muhlenberg showed its versatility on a day when the wind howled across Cedarcreek Field. Game one saw an offensive explosion as the Mules cruised to an 11-1 win. The nightcap was a close affair that saw Muhlenberg hold down the Garnet offense yet again to pull out a close 3-1 win to complete the sweep.

Chelsea Benjamin
Freshman Chelsea Benjamin smacked her first career double in the second game.
After having a pair of doubleheaders canceled at the end of last week, the Mules (10-7, 2-0) wasted little time getting back into the swing of things on offense in the first game.

Muhlenberg scored four runs in the first and six more in the second to grab a commanding lead before the Garnet (4-12, 0-2) had even registered a base runner.

Senior Ashley Brewer and freshman Kelly Kline delivered the big blows with back-to-back run-scoring doubles in the first.

Brewer delivered a towering shot that sailed over the centerfielder's head and plated sophomore Devon Barber. Kline followed that up with a line shot to left field that brought home freshman Erica Wenzel and Brewer.

"We definitely wanted to get out here and play last week, so we were very eager," Kline said. "We were really excited to finally get a chance to play, and we came out and really hit the ball. I just got a good pitch and hit it solid. I was glad I could help get the team started early."

Muhlenberg continued its offensive onslaught in the second.
Alyssa Bruckner
Bruckner stranded two Garnet base runners to get out of the sixth inning and struck out the final batter to earn the second save of her career.
Freshman Colleen O'Donnell and Wenzel reached on walks and then scored when Brewer lofted a long fly ball that was misplayed by the centerfielder.

Then senior Jess Kasza worked a bases-loaded walk and senior Alyssa Epstein and junior Brittany Blohm followed with RBI singles to make it 10-0 after two innings.

Brewer, meanwhile, took control in the circle. She allowed just one run on four hits to pick up her fourth win of the season.

"With Ashley pitching we knew that she was probably going to keep the other team quiet," Kline said. "So to get a lot of runs early was a big key. You could tell she felt very comfortable out there and she started to cruise."

Game two, meanwhile, brought some rougher seas for the Mules.

Muhlenberg scored a run in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Barber scored on a wild pitch in the first, Colleen O'Donnell drove in Epstein with an RBI single in the second and Wenzel scored on Kasza's third-inning sacrifice fly.

But at the same time the Garnet offense started to hit. Mule starter Angie Sisco stranded a pair of runners in the second, third and fourth innings to keep Swarthmore off the board.

The Garnet broke through for a single run off of Mule reliever Alyssa Bruckner in the fifth, but she closed the door was back-to-back scoreless innings to seal the game.

Wenzel scored three runs on the day, while Brewer and Epstein each picked up a pair of hits. Kline and Kasza each drove in a pair of runs for the Mules, who ended their three-game losing streak in impressive fashion.

And now that the Mules have had a chance to get back on the field and put some runs on the board, Kline said the team is hungry for more.

"This was a big day for us; we really wanted to come out and win so we could get the conference season started off right," Kline said. "We want to get some momentum going and start winning some games. We're all hitting well right now, which makes it really fun to come out and play every day. We want to keep this going throughout the conference season."
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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