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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, March 27, 2010 - page 2

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Softball ends skid, back to winning ways

Junior Jess Kasza of the Muhlenberg softball team has gotten her fair share of hits at the plate recently, but she’s also taken a few in the field. A week after receiving a helmet to the knee on a sliding play at second, the shortstop took a helmet to the mouth against Franklin & Marshall.

“I got a little fat lip,” said Kasza. “I’m getting beaten up and taking some hits, but I just try to bounce back like everybody else. The whole team is working through injuries.”

Sullivan (15) scores the fourth run of Game 2 as Smith rounds third. Smith was held up on the play.
The Mules were also working through a tough six-game losing streak before bouncing back in a big way against F&M, sweeping the Diplomats, 5-2 and 8-0. The wins boosted Muhlenberg (6-9, 2-2) back to .500 in the Centennial Conference as it begins its title defense in earnest.

Angie Sisco
Freshman Angie Sisco squeezes a foul pop for the final out of the first game.
“We’ve been working hard all week, working on the little things,” noted Kasza. “Hopefully we keep this up the next couple of games. We need to bring it to Dickinson the same way we did to F&M.”

In the first game of the doubleheader, one clutch swing of the bat helped the Mules really bring it to F&M (5-5, 1-3). Muhlenberg trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth when a walk, a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice put runners on second and third with one out for freshman Devon Barber. Barber doubled to right center, knocking in both runs and giving the Mules the lead.

“She was patient, got her hands out and got a good hit,” said Kasza. “She’s been working really hard and I’m really proud of her.”

Muhlenberg added three more in the sixth, beginning with junior Ashley Brewer leading the inning off with a walk, stealing second and advancing and scoring on two passed balls. Freshman Elizabeth Sullivan added an RBI single and sophomore Shelby Smith a sac fly to center for more insurance.

Junior Alyssa Bruckner gave up her only earned run in the final frame but closed the door on the Diplomats. She finished with a complete-game, five-hit performance.

Brewer gave the Mules an even stronger pitching performance in Game 2, allowing just one hit and striking out four. The four runs she received in the bottom of the first – on the strength of RBI singles from Sullivan and freshman Alyssa Epstein and a pair of errors – were more than enough.

“We’ve been trying to score early the past few games and haven’t been able to,” commented Kasza. “That helps Ashley out a lot. She can just pitch and not have to worry.”

With Muhlenberg leading 7-0 in the fifth, Barber and Bruckner combined to end the game early. Barber ripped a two-out single to left and promptly stole second. Bruckner then brought her home on a pinch-single to left.

Sullivan went 2-for-3 at the dish in Game 2, and Brewer reached base and eventually scored all three times at the plate (two walks and a hit-by-pitch).
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Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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