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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, March 28, 2009 - page 2

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softball plays powerball in sweep

After scraping together only two hits a doubleheader loss at New Jersey on Wednesday, the Muhlenberg softball team devoted its next practice entirely to hitting.

“Everyone really buckled down and focused on getting their mechanics back,” said senior RiRi Ferrigno. “Obviously something worked.”

Obviously. The Mules put on an unprecedented display of power
Shelby Smith
Smith went 4-for-5 in the first game and added two more hits in the nightcap.
hitting in sweeping Franklin & Marshall, 11-3 and 5-3, in their first Centennial Conference road doubleheader of the season.

Muhlenberg hit four home runs in the twinbill, two in each game. The Mules had hit two home runs in a game six times previously in their history, but never in both games of a doubleheader. The team set a school record in the opener with eight extra-base hits, with six doubles (one short of the school record) to go along with the two round-trippers.

Leading the power assault was Ferrigno, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI in the opener. Only the second Mule player to hit two homers in a game, she set school records for extra-base hits (4) and total bases (12) in a game while tying the mark for RBI in a game.

Of Ferrigno’s five career home runs, three have come over the short but high left-field fence at Franklin & Marshall’s field. She added two hits and an RBI in the nightcap to move within three of breaking the school record of 80 career RBI.

“Every time I stepped up to the plate, I took a deep breath and cleared my mind,” said Ferrigno. “It made me forget about everything but what I needed to do.”

Ferrigno started her record day with a two-run double in the top of the first. After the Diplomats (12-8, 2-2) tied the score in the bottom of the inning, Muhlenberg (8-10, 3-1) went ahead for good on a double-steal play in the second, with junior Katie Smithson scoring.

Ferrigno’s two home runs – a solo shot in the third and a two-run blast in the sixth – extended the lead to 6-2 while sophomore Ashley Brewer settled down on the mound. After allowing the two runs in the first, she held F&M without a hit from the second through the sixth, facing one batter over the minimum.

The Mules put the game away with five in the seventh, highlighted by a two-run double by sophomore Jess Kasza and a two-run single by freshman Shelby Smith.

In the second game, Kasza’s second career home run tied the score at 1-1 in the third. Muhlenberg went ahead 4-1 on an RBI single and two-run home run by senior Samantha Crist - her third career blast – in the fifth.

The Diplomats cut the lead to 4-3 and had the potential tying run in scoring position when Brewer came on in relief in the bottom of the sixth. She got out of the inning with a strikeout, then ended the game by starting a 1-2-3 double play in the bottom of the seventh for her first career save.

With the sweep, the Mules tied their win total from all of last season and stopped a mini-slide in which they lost five of six.

“Things just weren’t working out. Now things are falling into place and everyone feels comfortable,” commented Ferrigno. “Hopefully this will get us over the hump.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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