Softball Bats Come Alive in Doubleheader Sweep of Centenary

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A couple of days after learning that she would not be the senior speaker at Commencement next month, Shelby Smith and her teammates on the Muhlenberg softball team let their bats do the talking.

The Mules pounded out 26 hits and had four innings of at least three runs in sweeping Centenary, 10-5 and 9-1, in an important non-conference doubleheader.

Angie Sisco
Junior Angie Sisco pitched a two-hitter in the nightcap to pick up her fifth win of the season. Both of the hits were bunt singles.
Smith was one of three finalists for the honor, which was given to one of her sorority sisters. “I’m a little disappointed,” she admitted. “I would have loved representing my class and the Athletic Department.

“I have absolutely loved being part of Muhlenberg, and Muhlenberg has given me so much,” she added. “So I can’t be greedy about it.”

The Mules could be greedy about scoring runs, and they had every intention of doing so against a Cyclone team that is in first place in its conference. After a 13-game stretch in which they averaged more than eight runs, the Mules had cooled off offensively, scoring only 23 in dropping six of their previous eight games.

“We tried to go back and refocus, and we had to believe in ourselves,” said Smith. “We needed to be confident in going back to what got us here.”

Kelly Kline
Kline tied a Centennial Conference record with her 11th home run of the season, and she moved into sole possession of first place on Muhlenberg's career list with 14. The next record on the horizon is for RBI in a season; she has 47 and the mark is 51.
One of the things that got the Muhlenberg offense going earlier in the season was the power hitting of sophomore Kelly Kline, and it resurfaced against Centenary (22-13). Kline had a two-run double and a two-run homer in the second game, setting a school record with 99 total bases on the season. She went 3-for-4 in the nightcap, the only out coming on a line drive.

After scoring only one run in Saturday’s doubleheader loss to Ursinus, the Mules (17-19) put up four runs in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1, with freshman Jaimie Klotz capping the rally with a two-run single.

The Cyclones eventually came back to tie the game at 5-5, but Muhlenberg broke the tie with four more in the fifth. Sophomore Chelsea Benjamin recorded her second RBI single of the game, and junior Elizabeth Sullivan added a pinch-hit RBI double.

Sophomore Erica Wenzel went 3-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases, and junior Devon Barber had a pair of hits, including the 100th of her career.

Freshman Kelsey Jones, who had been given only one run of support in her previous three starts, was the happy beneficiary of the outburst. She pitched a six-hitter and allowed only one earned run, striking out eight in earning her eighth win.

Kline’s two-run double and a two-run single by Smith highlighted a five-run third in the nightcap. After Kline’s two-run homer in the sixth, the Mules ended the game on the eight-run rule on a sacrifice fly by senior Brittany Blohm.

Sophomore Colleen O’Donnell matched Kline with three hits in Game 2, contributing to an enjoyable and much-needed day for the Mules, who close out Centennial Conference play Saturday at Franklin & Marshall, needing wins and help to qualify for the playoffs.

“This was huge,” said Smith. “We’re at our best when we’re out there laughing and light on our feet. We needed this to build momentum for Saturday.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2