Softball 2012 Season Review

 

It’s said that offense wins games, and the Muhlenberg softball team took that adage to heart during the 2012 season.

Led by the top scoring offense in the Centennial Conference, the Mules reached double digits in conference wins for the third time in the last four seasons (10-6) to finish in a three-way tie for third. But unfortunately, Muhlenberg lost out on the tiebreaker and did not have a chance to defend its CC crown after finishing 19-19.

The Mules tied the school record for home runs in a season (18) and finished with the second-most runs (217) and doubles (61) in a campaign. Much of that pop came from sophomore Kelly Kline. The Centennial Conference player of the year and a first-team all-region selection, she broke the league record for home runs in a season (12) and posted the second-best totals for RBI, total bases and slugging percentage, all while winning the conference batting crown (.478, the best by a Mule in 18 years).

Brittany Blohm
Blohm finished her career in the top 20 in school history in doubles (4th, 28), extra-base hits (12th, 32), total bases (16th, 145), hits (t-19th, 105) and fielding percentage (t-6th, .980).
The Mules closed out their season-opening Spring Break trip to Florida with a pair of mercy rule wins over Northwestern (Minn.), 13-2, and DeSales, 9-0. Junior Angie Sisco tossed her third career shutout in the second game, while junior Devon Barber went 5-for-5 on the day and sophomore Erica Wenzel had a 4-for-4 game against DeSales.

After returning north, Muhlenberg split doubleheaders with Elizabethtown and No. 17 Cortland State before starting conference play with a sweep of Swarthmore in which the Mules scored 11 runs in each game.

They hit three home runs in the opener and collected five extra-base hits in the nightcap. Senior Brittany Blohm, sophomore Colleen O’Donnell and freshman Jaimie Klotz all went yard, and O’Donnell also added three doubles on the day.

Following back-to-back splits with playoff participants Washington and Gettysburg, Muhlenberg swept Haverford.

Freshman Kelsey Jones struck out seven in a 6-0 win in the opener and then picked up the win in relief in the second game, a wild 17-13 affair that featured 31 combined hits. Kline hit her first career grand slam to key a 10-run fourth, and the Mules tacked on six more in the fifth for their most runs in a CC game since 1999.

The offensive onslaught continued into the next game when Muhlenberg jumped on the CC pitcher of the year early to split with eventual CC champion McDaniel.

Facing the national strikeout champion who finished the season with a 1.45 ERA, the Mules erupted for four runs in the first and added four more in the fifth for a 9-3 win in the opener. Muhlenberg jumped ahead in game two, before falling 13-7. Only one other team scored more than five runs on the Green Terror all season.

Shelby Smith
Smith appeared in 123 games during her career, compiling 12 doubles, 44 runs scored and 31 RBI.
But that loss started a stretch in which the Mules dropped eight of 11 games. In one of those wins, an 8-1 victory at Eastern, Muhlenberg broke the school record for home runs in a game with four - two from O’Donnell and one each from Kline and sophomore Chelsea Benjamin.

The Mules then closed out the season by righting the ship with back-to-back sweeps over NCAA qualifier Centenary (N.J.) and Franklin & Marshall.

In addition to her conference records, Kline also shattered the school marks for extra-base hits (26, old record 20), total bases (105, old record 93), hitting streak (26, old record 18) and slugging percentage (.929, old record .882) and tied the mark for RBI (51) while ranking in the top 20 in Division III in five offensive categories. Her 12 home runs on the season were one short of the school’s previous career record, which she also broke after just two seasons.

Wenzel was named to the All-CC second team after ranking among the conference leaders in batting (11th, .369), runs scored (t-6th, 32), triples (t-6th, 3), and hits (7th, 48), and Barber earned All-CC honorable mention after setting career highs for batting average (.339), hits (39), doubles (8), triples (3) and RBI (20).

Benjamin finished fourth on the team with a .333 average to go along with 19 RBI and 21 runs scored, while Klotz batted .302 and drove in 14 in her rookie campaign.

Jones had an impressive debut, leading the pitching staff with a 2.86 ERA and nine wins, including three shutouts. She broke the Mule record for strikeouts by a freshman with 91, the fourth-best in a season in school history.

O’Donnell led the Mules with 37 runs scored, the second-most in program history, while Blohm tied for second on the team with eight doubles. Freshman Alyssa Schell (22) and junior Jessica Costa (14) each reached double figures in runs scored.

Senior Shelby Smith finished the year with three doubles, 14 runs scored and nine RBI, and junior Elizabeth Sullivan picked up two doubles, six RBI and five runs scored.

Sisco posted a 6-5 record with one save in the circle, including wins in three of her final four starts, allowing two runs or fewer in two of those games. Freshman Heather Porrini picked up three wins and a save while issuing a CC-low six walks in 39.2 innings.