Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, April 14, 2007
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The Muhlenberg softball team wanted to surprise its four seniors by holding Senior Day at its last Saturday home doubleheader, even though it has two more home dates. The surprise was spoiled two days before the games, but the Mules did get some surprising sources of offense in sweeping Washington, 2-0 and 13-3.

Freshmen Jenna Van Waalwijk, Allie Saltstein and Katie Smithson, who entered the day with a combined 10 hits all season, went 7-for-12 in the two games to help the team bounce back from Tuesday’s double shutout loss at

In a matchup of the team with the fourth-best ERA in Division III and a team that had hit .455 in its last three games, it was the pitching that won out.

Regionally ranked Gettysburg swept Muhlenberg, 8-3 and 11-3, halting the Mules’ three-game winning streak. The Bullets (18-5, 7-3) opened up an early 8-0 lead in the opener and gradually pulled away to take the nightcap.

Freshman Dan Fisher hit a two-run double in Game 1 and went 2-for-4 in Game 2. Senior Pete Oris had three hits in the nightcap.

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Swarthmore. Van Waalwijk had both of the Mules’ hits in the first game and a two-run double in the second. Saltstein hit RBI singles in back-to-back innings of the nightcap, and Smithson’s first career hit ignited a four-run rally.

The familiar bats also contributed: sophomore Samantha Crist had three hits and drove in three runs, senior Hilary Marinchak had three hits and scored three runs, and senior Tina Roth and sophomore Michelle Consiglio each singled twice in a seven-run second inning in Game 2.

Muhlenberg (8-16, 5-3) didn’t need much offense in the opener, thanks to the hurling of senior Nicole Washburn, who tossed a five-hitter for her seventh career shutout. She struck out seven, including the first three batters of the game, and allowed only two runners to reach third base in blanking the Shorewomen (8-18, 1-7) for the second year in a row.

“I went in today trying to throw as best as I can and trust in my teammates,” said Washburn. “These games were very important. We needed a sweep, not only
Hilary Marinchak
Marinchak hit her second triple of the season in the fourth inning of the second game. She is hitting .292 for the season and leads the Mules with 18 runs scored.
for our confidence but also to help our chances of making the conference playoffs.”

The Mules scored both of their runs in the third. A single by Van Waalwijk and walks to Smithson and Washburn loaded the bases with one out. Crist’s sacrifice fly brought in one run, and the second came in on a fielder’s choice.

After the Senior Day ceremonies – honoring Washburn, Roth, Marinchak and Katie Olson – between games, Muhlenberg added to the festive atmosphere by exploding for season highs of 13 runs and 18 hits in the nightcap. The Mules played station-to-station to the extreme in the second inning, scoring seven runs on nine hits with only one runner advancing more than one base on any play.

With the bases loaded (on three singles) and one out, five straight batters brought in a run each – Smithson with a walk and Marinchak, Saltstein, Crist and sophomore RiRi Ferrgino with singles. A two-run single by Roth, who led off the big frame, capped the scoring.

The Mules added four runs in the third and two in the fourth, putting the eight-run rule into effect and ensuring that, even though the surprise was ruined, the day wasn’t.

“It was really special,” said Washburn of Senior Day. “If I had to play my last year of softball I’m glad it’s with this group of girls.

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Last updated April 14, 2007