Kline Breaks Home Run Mark in Softball Split at McDaniel

Saturday, April 7, 2012
 

Track and field Baseball, men’s lacrosse

There’s an old saying in baseball and softball that good pitching will be good hitting almost every time. But the Muhlenberg softball team did its best to refute that notion in its doubleheader at first-place McDaniel.

The Mule offense erupted for eight runs off the Centennial

Kelsey Jones
Jones scattered eight hits and struck out three to pick up her sixth win of the season and her third of the week.
Conference leader in ERA, strikeouts, wins and saves to hand McDaniel its first CC loss, 9-3, in the opener. The production continued into the second game as the Mules scored seven times in the first four innings before the Green Terror rallied to pick up a 13-7 win. With the split, Muhlenberg sits in a tie for third place in the conference with Washington.

Once again, sophomore Kelly Kline provided a lot of the muscle behind the offense, cracking three home runs to give her nine on the year, breaking the school single-season record of seven set last year by Ashley Brewer. She also extended her school -record hitting streak to 23 games.

The key to the offensive explosion, according to senior Shelby Smith, was aggressiveness. The Mules did not want to let the Green Terror pitcher, who pitched a pair of no-hitters last weekend, to get comfortable and work from ahead.

“We came out swinging. If there was a pitch to hit, we went for it,” she said. “We knew their pitcher threw hard, but the harder it comes in, the harder it goes out, especially when Kelly hits it. We’ve been hitting the ball really well lately, and we feel like we have a great offense. And I think we proved that today.”

Muhlenberg’s scoring prowess was on display from the very start, forcing the McDaniel

Alyssa Schell
Schell collected five hits and scored a pair of runs in the doubleheader. She is 11-for-23 in her last five games, raising her season average from .211 to .287.
starter to throw 50 pitches in the first inning of game one. The Mules (12-12, 7-3) scored four runs in the inning – as many as the pitcher had given up in the previous four games combined.

Freshman Alyssa Schell led off the inning with a double, and Smith capped it by driving a two-run double to the right-center fence.

McDaniel (17-7, 9-1) looked poised to get back in the game after loading the bases with one out in the second. But sophomore Chelsea Benjamin bare-handed a swinging bunt to third and flipped it to senior Brittany Blohm, who was able to stretch enough to grab the high toss while still keeping her foot on the plate to get the out. After a run scored on a walk, freshman Kelsey Jones got the next batter to hit a soft grounder back to her to limit the damage to just one.

The Mules blew the game open with four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run single up the middle from junior Devon Barber.

Kline put an exclamation point on game one in the sixth when she drove a 2-1 pitch that bounced off the top of the fence in center and out of the park. Her power surge carried over to the second game as she homered in her first two at bats to give the Mules a 3-1 lead.

The first was a two-run shot into the teeth of the wind over the left-center fence to break the single-season record in the first. Then she showed her power to all fields by lofting a solo blast over the fence in right-center in the third to become the first player in program history with two multi-homer games.

But the Green Terror responded to tie the game in the bottom half of the third. And after Muhlenberg regained the lead, 7-3, in the fourth, McDaniel plated 10 over the next two innings to win.

While the split was somewhat bittersweet because the Mules led midway through the nightcap, Smith said she and her teammates can still enjoy their Easter chocolate because they feel they are still in solid position in the conference race after splitting with each of the top three teams in the standings.

“We knew they were a great team with a great pitcher,” Smith said. “We wanted to just come out and play as hard as we could for both games. We did that, and I think we all feel good that we got a win today.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2