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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, April 10, 2010 - page 2

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Softball, baseball split

The Muhlenberg baseball team used a barrage of base hits to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Mules recorded 13 hits - 10 of which were singles - in a 10-6 victory over McDaniel in Game 2 of the teams' doubleheader. The Green Terror took the first game, 8-1.

Muhlenberg (12-14, 6-6) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third. An error, a hit and a walk loaded the bases, and senior Eric Pomroy knocked in the first run on a fielder's choice. Junior Joseph DiCecilia followed with an RBI single to right, and after DiCecilia stole second, freshman John Muha plated two more with another base knock.

McDaniel (7-13, 3-9) responded immediately by scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning, and each team traded a run in the fourth. But the Mules expanded their lead in the fifth on a two-run single from sophomore Brian Beck, which made the score 7-4.

DiCecilia doubled in the seventh and was brought home by sophomore Jesse Nusbaum. Beck and junior Eli Branzburg then hit back-to-back doubles to start the eighth, and Branzubrg scored on an RBI single from junior Jeff Puklin.

Junior Jason Daniels was one strike away from ending the game when he ran into some trouble in the ninth, giving up a triple on an 0-2 count and then a run-scoring single. But Daniels induced a popup to first to end the game, finishing his second complete game of the season. He scattered 12 hits and allowed three earned runs while striking out four.

Game 1 of the twinbill was tied at 1 before McDaniel plated six runs in the fifth, four of which came on a grand slam. DiCecilia's 16-game hitting streak came to an end in the loss, falling just one game short of tying the school record.

He recovered by going 3-for-5 with three runs scored in the second game. Muha, Nusbaum, Beck and Branzburg all had two hits apiece in the win.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

The Muhlenberg softball team's third home doubleheader in the last five days ended the same way as the first two: The Mules won the opener but dropped the second game.

Muhlenberg scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to come from behind and defeat Haverford, 7-6, in Game 1. The Fords rapped out 17 hits in taking the nightcap, 8-4.

It's smiling Jennas all around as Littmann (left) celebrates with Van Waalwijk (right) after the winning run scored.
The twinbill matched the two teams most impacted when last year's Centennial Conference softball playoffs were rained out. The Mules won the title as the highest remaining seed even though the Fords were the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament. Both teams also were coming off doubleheader splits against nationally ranked opponents - Muhlenberg vs. No. 22 Moravian and Haverford vs. No. 8 New Jersey.

The doubleheader started about 45 minutes late because the Fords' bus broke down en route to Cedarcreek Field. The teams made up for the late start with a wild first inning that featured seven runs. After Haverford (13-11, 6-4) scored three times in the top of the frame, the Mules (10-13, 5-5) responded with four runs in their half. Junior Jess Kasza delivered the big hit, a two-run double.

Haverford scored three more runs in the top of the fourth and brought a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Junior Ashley Brewer, who pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, led off with a hard single off the third baseman's glove. After Kasza's sacrifice bunt, Brewer scored when sophomore Brittany Blohm, who brought in a run with a suicide squeeze bunt in the fifth, singled up the middle.

Blohm went to second on the throw home and was replaced by pinch-runner Jenna Littmann, who went to third on a fly ball to right. The next batter, senior Jenna Van Waalwijk, hit a ground ball to third base. The throw to first was high and tipped off the glove of the leaping first baseman, allowing Littman to score the decisive run in the Mules' second walkoff win in three games.

In addition to contributing to Muhlenberg's two big scoring innings, Kasza saved a run with a heads-up defensive play in the fifth, faking a throw to first to trap a Ford runner off third base.

The second game started similarly to the first, with the Fords scoring a run in the top of the inning and the Mules scoring one more in the bottom. But a five-run fourth inning by Haverford proved too much for Muhlenberg to overcome.

Brewer went 5-for-8 with two stolen bases in the doubleheader. Freshman Devon Barber was 4-for-6 and stole four bases. Brewer now has 20 steals on the season with Barber right behind her at 17; only once before in team history have two Mule swiped at least 17 bases in the same season.
Click here for line scores
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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