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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - page 2

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Another dramatic win gives softball second straight sweep

The lineup may have looked a little different, but the results, especially the ending, were still very familiar for the Muhlenberg softball team against Eastern.

Starting a number of reserves, the Mules pounded out 11 hits to win the opener, 7-2. Then in the nightcap, Muhlenberg overcame a five-run deficit
Jordan Schessler
Freshman Jordan Schessler slides safely under the Eagle tag. She scored the second run of her career in the nightcap.
to complete the sweep with a 10-9 win in eight innings.

And for the second day in a row it was senior Ashley Brewer who came through with a big hit in the late innings to cap a Muhlenberg (22-15) comeback in game two.

With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, sophomore Devon Barber started the bottom of the eighth inning on second. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Chelsea Benjamin, which brought the reigning CC player of the year to the plate.

Brewer, who had entered the game in the top of the fifth, delivered a hard-hit line drive that flew over the head of the second baseman, allowing Barber to score with ease.

And while it may not have had the flair of her three-run homer at Ursinus, Brewer's single was still her second walkoff hit of the season. And according to freshman Lauren Hochreiter, everyone in the Mule dugout expects something good to happen when Brewer steps to the plate.

"When Ashley came up with Devon on third I think we all knew it was over," Hochreiter said. "She's our best hitter, and she always seems to come up with really big hits. We all had a lot of confidence with her at the plate, and once again she came through."

Eastern (17-15) used a seven-run fifth inning to grab a 9-4 lead. But Muhlenberg responded with two in the bottom half of the inning when sophomore Elizabeth Sullivan drove in Brewer and junior Shelby Smith with a single to right that dropped just over the head of the first baseman.

Then in the bottom of the seventh, Smith and Sullivan got the Mules started with back-to-back singles.

Smith scored and Sullivan moved to third when Brittany Blohm singled to right, then Sullivan scored on Hochreiter's sacrifice fly, which also allowed Blohm to advance to third.

With Muhlenberg down to its final out, senior Jess Kasza came through when she hit a hard line drive between first and second that allowed Blohm to score easily and sent the game to extra innings.
Elizabeth Sullivan
Sullivan went a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored in the nightcap.

Because of the tiebreaker, Eastern began the inning with a runner on second. But senior Alyssa Bruckner sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around groundout to third to get out of the inning unscathed and set the stage for Brewer. With the win, Bruckner became the first Mule pitcher to pick up two victories on the same day since 2001

"It was great to get a chance to show what I can do," Hochreiter said. "I think everyone played really well, from the top of the lineup to the bottom. Getting the sweep was important because it helps us keep the positive momentum going. Now we just need to keep playing like this this weekend."

Things went much more smoothly in the opener. Muhlenberg got on the board first when Hochreiter, making the first start of her career, hit a line drive single to center that plated Benjamin, who went 3-for-3 in the opener, and freshman Kelly Kline.

Two batters later, Barber hit a single to the gap in left center that plated Hochreiter and Sullivan to give the Mules a 4-0 lead after two innings. Barber then stole second to become just the fourth player in Muhlenberg history with at least 40 career steals.

That would be more than enough for the pitching combination of Bruckner and reliever Lisa Peluso.

Bruckner only allowed one hit in four scoreless innings, while Peluso struck out a pair and finished one out away from the shutout to earn the first save of her career.

Brewer, Benjamin and Sullivan all finished with four hits apiece in the two games. Sullivan also scored three runs, while Brewer drove in three to move to within three RBI of the Muhlenberg career record.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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