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Saturday, April 9, 2011 - page 3

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softball moves to top of standings

For one day at least, the Muhlenberg softball team got rid of its splitting headache. And to do it, the Mules took two - not two aspirin, but two games.

Muhlenberg swept McDaniel, 4-3 and 8-2, on Senior Day to move into first place in the Centennial Conference, although the high number of rainouts has resulted in widely varying numbers of games played. The Mules (6-2 CC) have the same winning percentage as Gettysburg (3-1), and Ursinus (3-2) also has only two losses.

The Mules (15-10 overall) split their previous three doubleheaders, including CC
Alyssa Epstein
Epstein is third on the Mules with a .314 batting average.
twinbills at Washington and Haverford in which the losses both came by one run.

"It felt great to sweep today - it was definitely something that we needed as a team," said junior Brittany Blohm. "The last two splits were tough because we know that we also should have swept those teams. After the first game we focused on having disciplined at-bats and winning each individual inning separately on both offense and defense. We play better when we have full focus from pitch to pitch, and breaking it down by inning usually works for us."

Muhlenberg's first runs came after a McDaniel defensive breakdown in the second inning of the opener. After a dropped fly ball with two outs, back-to-back doubles by Blohm and freshman Chelsea Benjamin, followed by a single off the bat of freshman Colleen O'Donnell, made it 3-0.

The two doubles gave the Mules 51 for the season, extending the
Baseball Drops Two to F&M

A long day of baseball included two comebacks by Muhlenberg but no wins, as Franklin & Marshall swept the Mules, 10-7 and 9-6.

Muhlenberg (6-21-1, 3-7) trailed 8-1 in the opener before scoring two in the fifth and four in the sixth to make it a one-run game. Senior Joseph DiCecilia had the second of back-to-back two-out RBI doubles in the fifth and added a two-out, two-run single in the sixth. Senior Clint Lynch also drove in two with a single.

The sixth inning ended with the tying run on third, and the Diplomats (15-11, 7-2) added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the seventh.

The Mules jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 2, only to have F&M score six in the fourth. Once again Muhlenberg came back, this time tying the score with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, the second coming in on a steal of home by sophomore John Muha.

That would be all for the Mule offense, as the Diplomats plated the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth and scored twice in the ninth.

DiCecilia went 4-for-8 in the doubleheader, which featured 32 runs on 52 hits by the two teams.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

school record they set in their last doubleheader. They finished the day one short of the school record for extra-base hits in a season.

"As a whole team we have a very strong lineup. I am confident that batters one through nine have the ability to hit home runs as well as extra-base hits," said Blohm. "We have been showing the conference that we are tough and no one will be an easy out."

The Green Terror (8-16, 3-7) was not an easy out in this game, getting two runs back the following inning and answering Muhlenberg's run in the fifth with one of its own in the sixth. But senior Ashley Brewer retired the side 1-2-3 in the seventh to finish off the complete-game five-hitter and earn her seventh win of the season.

Brewer and the other three seniors on the team - Alyssa Bruckner, Alyssa Epstein and Jess Kasza - were recognized between games, and all played prominent roles in the nightcap.

Bruckner scattered eight hits over seven innings to earn the win, the 21st of her career. Brewer went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a double. Kasza and Epstein each went 2-for-4 with two RBI, with Epstein adding in a great sliding catch in right field for good measure.

The Mules broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the third, then added three more in the fourth en route to their 15th win - one more than they had all last year. It made the day a near-perfect one for the senior class.

"The seniors are so much fun to be around and an all-around great group of girls," said Blohm. "I look to them for advice, and they have helped me so much. They can make you laugh at the drop of a hat and know exactly what it takes to make you smile.

"They are great leaders off the field and even more so on it. They are tough players and work extremely hard. I know they give their all to this team because they want to win and expect nothing less! They are confident in our team and themselves to be the best that they can. They will be difficult to replace."
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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