Softball Pours on Runs in CC Doubleheader Sweep

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
 

Baseball

With a hotel scheduled to be built on the site of its current field, the Swarthmore softball team will move to one under construction beyond the left-center fence of its current diamond. And in the first game of its Centennial Conference opening doubleheader, the Muhlenberg softball team tried to help the Garnet break in its new digs.

The Mules hit three home runs, all of which landed on the new field, en route to an 11-5 win in the opener. The offensive outburst continued into the second

Jaimie Klotz
Klotz is greeted by her teammates after her home run. She equaled her season total with three hits in the doubleheader and drove in five runs, three more than her total entering the game.
game as they collected five extra-base hits to complete the sweep during their final trip to the soon-to-be Old Clothier Field with an 11-3 victory.

The three home runs tied the school single-game record, and the 22 runs are the most in a doubleheader since 2006. The key to getting the offense going, according to senior Brittany Blohm, was simply relaxing and not pressing at the plate.

“We haven’t been hitting as well as we’ve wanted, so we just tried to concentrate on one at-bat at a time,” she said. “We talked about going out and having fun. And we had a lot of fun today.”

Muhlenberg (7-9, 2-0) actually fell behind 1-0 after two in the opener, but the deficit did not last for long. A Kelly Kline RBI single and Chelsea Benjamin sacrifice fly to deep right quickly put the Mules in front in the top of the third before freshman Jaimie Klotz blew the game open with a deep shot over the left-center fence to make it 5-1.

Muhlenberg added four runs in the fifth without hitting the ball out of the infield and tacked on the final two runs on a pair of solo shots. Sophomore Colleen O’Donnell hit one to left-center in the sixth, which landed on the new infield, and Blohm drove one to center in the seventh, which made it to the future right field.

The Mules entered the game with four home runs on the season, but none by anyone other than Kline.

Colleen O'Donnell
Three of O’Donnell’s four hits were doubles, her first three extra-base knocks of the season. She drove in two runs and scored five times in the doubleheader.
But the three blasts were not necessarily by design, Blohm said. They were just the results of good at-bats.

“We weren’t swinging for the fences, but when you get a pitch to drive and make good contact, anything can happen,” Blohm said. “We were patient and waited for our pitch.”

The Mules were kept in the park in Game 2, but their bats could not be kept quite. They racked up a season-high 14 hits and plated multiple runs in each of the first four innings to grab control early.

O’Donnell crushed a two-run double over the left fielder’s head, then Kline brought her home with a triple just inside the right-field line as part of a five-run second that made it 7-0.

Sophomore Erica Wenzel got in on the extra-base fun, driving a two-RBI double to the left-center gap an inning later, and Klotz delivered another two-run double over the right fielder’s head in the fourth to make it 11-0.

The 11-run cushion was more than enough for freshman Heather Porrini, who scattered nine hits to preserve the mercy-rule win and pick up her second straight victory.

Freshman Kelsey Jones struck out eight in the opener to earn her second career win. Kline finished with four hits, four runs scored and three RBI, and Benjamin went 3-for-3 in the second game.

It was a welcome change for the Mules, who averaged just 4.2 runs per game entering the doubleheader. But Blohm said the beginning of CC play offers a fresh start, which she and her teammates are more than happy to take advantage of.

“We were really excited for conference play,” she said. “It’s almost like a new season, and we got off to a great start. Today was a huge confidence boost, and I think it got our hitting back on track.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2