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Sunday, April 17, 2011 - page 2

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softball splits, still in first

The last week of the Centennial Conference regular season will be a big one for the Muhlenberg softball team.

The Mules split a home CC doubleheader with Gettysburg, coming back from a 4-0 deficit to win
Erica Wenzel
The game-winning three-run double wasn't the first "three-in-one" play for Wenzel this week. In Thursday's doubleheader sweep of Franklin & Marshall, she turned a triple play, catching a liner with runners on first and second, stepping on second and throwing to first to complete the Mules' second triple play in as many years.
the opener, 7-5, and dropping the nightcap, 7-4, when their last-inning comeback fell short.

Muhlenberg (18-13, 9-3) began the day in first place in the CC, a half-game ahead of Ursinus, and ended it the same way. The Bears (8-3 CC), who have a suspended game against Franklin & Marshall to make up, split a doubleheader at McDaniel. Dickinson (8-4), which swept Swarthmore, and Washington (9-5) are both a game back of the Mules.

The opponents for Muhlenberg's final two CC doubleheaders: Dickinson (home on Thursday) and Ursinus (away on Saturday).

The Mules struck late in both games against the Bullets (16-14, 6-6). In the first game, they trailed 4-0 and had managed only one hit when they came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. Run-scoring doubles by sophomore Devon Barber and senior Ashley Brewer cut the gap in half and set the stage for the winning rally.

Junior Shelby Smith was called on as a pinch-hitter to begin the bottom of the sixth and jumped on the first pitch, hitting it off the fence in left-center for a double. She eventually scored on a wild pitch, and more wildness - two walks and a hit batter - loaded the bases with two outs.

The next batter, freshman Erica Wenzel, worked the count to 3-2 before driving the ball into the left-center gap to clear the bases. The three-run double gave Muhlenberg its first lead at 6-4. Brewer then singled up the middle to bring in Wenzel.

The Mules waited longer and faced a bigger hole when their bats came alive in the second game. Gettysburg held a 7-0 lead before doubles by Wenzel and junior Brittany Blohm plated a run in the bottom of the sixth.

In the seventh, Smith started another rally with a single. RBI hits by freshman Colleen O'Donnell, Wenzel and Brewer made it 7-4 and got the tying run to the plate, but the game ended when Brewer was thrown out trying to steal second.

Brewer's three RBI in the doubleheader gave her 37 for the season, breaking a school record that had stood since 1997. Wenzel crossed home plate twice to move within one of tying the school record for runs scored in a season.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2

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