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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, May 12, 2011

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softball falls to falcons
in NCAA opener

Erica Wenzel, Colleen O’Donnell, Ashley Brewer
From left, freshman Erica Wenzel tries to turn a double play; O’Donnell slides in safely at second as the shortstop is drawn off the bag; Brewer stands at third after her third-inning triple. (Photos courtesy of Tim McKinney)

The Muhlenberg softball team did something not many teams have done to one of the top pitchers in the country. But it was not enough against No. 13 Messiah in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament.

The Mules used a three-run third inning to grab a 3-2 lead against a pitcher that had given up two runs all season, but the top-seeded Falcons scored a pair of runs in three of the next four innings to win, 8-3.

Muhlenberg (25-16) will face fourth-seeded Western Connecticut (27-13), a 1-0 loser to St. John Fisher, in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday.

Down 2-0 after two innings, freshman Colleen O’Donnell worked a one-out walk to give the Mules their second base runner of the game in the top of the third. Then sophomore Devon Baber hit a grounder, and the Messiah second baseman tried to get O'Donnell out at second. But the throw pulled the shortstop off the bag, and both runners were safe.

Two batters later, senior Ashley Brewer drove a triple to the gap in right center that plated both O’Donnell and Barber.

Brewer then scored on a single by freshman Kelly Kline to put the Mules in front.

But the Falcons (36-5) responded with two runs in the bottom of the third and two more in both the fifth and sixth innings to earn the win.

Brewer’s two RBI moved her into first place on the school’s career list with 91. She also broke the record for total bases in a season (91) and tied the single-season marks for extra-base hits (20) and complete games (20).
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