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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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Women’s tennis, women’s lacrosse

softball team erupts to earn split

It doesn’t matter if it’s a bright, sunny day. When the Muhlenberg softball team is batting, lightning can strike at any time.

The Mules’ explosive offense struck again in the fifth inning of the second game of their home doubleheader against Widener, sending nine runs across the plate to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 10-2 win. The Pride took the first game, 5-3.

The nine-run outburst marked the 10th
Jess Kasza
Kasza's two doubles put her into a tie for fourth place on the Mules' all-time list with 27 career two-baggers.
time this season Muhlenberg scored at least five runs in an inning, including two frames of 10 runs and two of nine.

“I think once we start with one hit, everyone feeds off that energy,” said sophomore Devon Barber, who started the rally with a single to center and drove in a run with an infield hit later in the inning. “I really believe that hitting is contagious. We really pick up the energy when we start a rally, and then it’s lights out.”

The hits in the nine-run inning weren’t cheap. Senior Ashley Brewer knocked in the first two runs with a triple to the fence in right-center. Senior Alyssa Epstein hit a line drive with so much steam on it that, after the shortstop’s leap to catch it came up a few inches short, it still rolled all the way to the fence. Freshman Chelsea Benjamin lined a two-run double into the right-center gap, and freshman Erica Wenzel scorched a double off the glove of the Widener fielder at third base.

Those four extra-base hits were among the 11 the Mules (11-8) had in the twinbill. And that’s
Colleen O'Donnell
O'Donnell receives congratulations at home plate following her home run.
nothing new for them: A little more than halfway into the season, they are just two doubles short of the school record of 48 in a year. They have already surpassed their 2010 season totals in runs (134 vs. 111), doubles (46 vs. 28) and home runs (7 vs. 5).

Muhlenberg has scored in double figures in eight games, the most since the 1994 team scored 10 or more a school-record nine times. Chalk that up to depth in the lineup.

“I have confidence in every single batter in the lineup,” said Barber. “We all have power and we all can hit. Once you start stringing the hits together you can always have explosive innings. That’s what sets us apart from other teams.”

The Mules showed their depth in the first game when freshman Colleen O’Donnell, the ninth hitter in the lineup, belted her first career home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Although it was too little to turn the score in the Mules’ favor, it made her the sixth different player to go yard this season.

O’Donnell also had a double in the first game and was one of two Mules with two extra-base hits. Senior Jess Kasza was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Barber went 3-for-4 in the second game, and Brewer, in addition to pitching a three-hitter and allowing only one earned run, drove in three runs.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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