Softball Splits with 17th-Ranked Cortland State

Friday, March 23, 2012


There were plenty of good things to see during the Muhlenberg softball team’s doubleheader split with Cortland State, but what was heard afterwards was probably even better: the sound of laughter coming from the Mules as they held their postgame meeting in left field.

Two days after getting outscored 16-1 in a rough doubleheader loss to New Jersey, Muhlenberg was having fun again.

“We’re definitely happy. We feel great about

 Heather Porrini
Freshman Heather Porrini worked into the seventh to earn her first career win in the nightcap. She allowed two earned runs on six hits in the first six innings.
the win,” said sophomore Kelly Kline. “It’s a great confidence booster. We needed it.”

Kline helped the cause by hitting two doubles and driving in three runs in the nightcap, a 7-6 win. The Mules (5-9) battled the 17th-ranked Red Dragons, who finished fourth at the NCAA Championships last year, through eight scoreless innings in the opener before falling, 3-0.

Muhlenberg hadn’t defeated Cortland State since 2006 and hadn’t beaten a nationally ranked team, other than on Spring Break, since 2000.

“We’ve been preparing all week for

 Alyssa Schell
Freshman Alyssa Schell doubled to lead off the sixth in Game 2, igniting a two-run rally that proved to be the difference.
these games, and we finally put it all together in the second game,” said Kline. “Even in the first game, we were there with them every step of the way.”

They were mainly due to the pitching of freshman Kelsey Jones, who prevented the Mules from getting down early, as they did in both games of the TCNJ doubleheader. Jones was superb, allowing only six hits and not allowing a runner past second base in the first seven innings. She struck out nine and did not walk a batter.

In the eighth, played under international tiebreaker rules, the Red Dragons sacrificed their runner over to third with one out, but Jones got a groundout and a foulout to keep the game scoreless. Cortland finally plated three runs in the ninth to win it.

After getting shut out for the second straight game, Muhlenberg scored five runs in the first two innings of the nightcap. Sophomore Erica Wenzel singled for the first of her three hits in the first and eventually came around on a dropped fly ball.

In the second, the Mules stole the first of their four runs. With sophomore Chelsea Benjamin on third, junior Jessica Costa broke for second and stayed in a rundown long enough for Benjamin to score. Wenzel followed with an RBI triple to the gap in right-center, and two batters later Kline brought in two runs with a booming double to center.

Kline added another RBI double in the sixth to give Muhlenberg a seemingly safe 7-3 lead. But the Red Dragons scored three in the seventh, two on a home run, to draw within one. That’s when junior Angie Sisco came on in relief to get the final two outs and preserve the big win.

Although the Mules did not come from behind in the game, it truly was a comeback win.

“I think we all faced individual challenges, and whether we were successful or not, as a team we came through for the win,” said Kline. “That shows what kind of team we are. I can’t wait to continue the season.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2