Softball Strengthens Lead with Sweep of Dickinson

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Men’s tennis Baseball, golf

Brittany Dzieciolowski broke her bat in the second game of last Thursday’s doubleheader at Moravian, so for the next game, the freshman catcher on the Muhlenberg softball team borrowed the bat of teammate Kelly Kline. That was a good choice: Kline’s bat has produced more home runs and RBI than any other player in Mule softball history.

“I figured if it works for her, it would work for me,” joked Dzieciolowski.

Devon Barber
Senior Devon Barber rounds third en route to scoring the sixth Mule run of the second game. She reached base in four of her six plate appearances in the two games.
It did. Dzieciolowski hit go-ahead doubles in both games as Muhlenberg moved closer to the top seed for the Centennial Conference playoffs with a doubleheader sweep of Dickinson, 4-2 and 6-3.

The first-place Mules (22-7-1, 10-2) extended their lead in the CC to three games with the sweep and losses by Washington (to Swarthmore) and Gettysburg (to Franklin & Marshall). Muhlenberg needs to win two of its remaining four games to earn the top seed for the first time since the CC began a postseason tournament in 2001.

The Mules didn’t waste any time jumping on top in the opener against the reigning CC pitcher of the week. With one out and two on in the first, Dzieciolowski drove a pitch to the fence in right-center, bringing in a run. Kline, who had walked ahead of the double, scored on a groundout.

Heather Porrini
Porrini allowed one run on 4 1/3 innings of relief to earn her third win of the season. She has a 1.24 ERA in her three CC appearances.
Junior Erica Wenzel drew a bases-loaded walk in the second and scored on the back end of a double steal attempt in the fourth to stretch the lead to 4-0.

That was plenty for sophomore Kelsey Jones, who allowed 10 hits but pitched out of trouble, leaving the bases loaded after the Red Devils (13-19, 4-8) scored their first run in the fifth. Jones finished off the game with her only 1-2-3 inning in the seventh to record her 14th complete game in as many starts.

The win came in the Mules’ first CC game in 10 days. After two non-conference doubleheaders last week, they had a rare weekend off from competition.

“It was nice – I got to go home,” said Dzieciolowski. “I think [the break] got us even more mentally prepared for these games.”

Kline got her bat to work for her in the first inning of the second game, hitting a line drive over the fence in right for her 20th career home run and her school-record-tying 50th career extra-base hit.

Dickinson took its only lead of the day with two runs in the top of the third, but the Mules scored three in the bottom of the frame, the big hit a two-run double by Dzieciolowski.

Muhlenberg tacked on single runs in the fourth and sixth to take a 6-1 lead into the seventh. The Red Devils made the game interesting in the final inning, scoring one run and loading the bases with one out. Sophomore Heather Porrini fell behind the next hitter 3-1, but got a swing and a miss on 3-2 for her only strikeout of the game.

Junior Colleen O’Donnell, who ended the sixth with a diving catch of a liner up the middle, fielded a ground ball from the next batter and stepped on second to end the game and solidify the Mules’ hold on first place – even if that’s not what’s foremost on their minds.

“I didn’t even know we were in first place until just recently,” said Dzieciolowski. “We don’t look at standings or statistics – we kind of like to take it game by game.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2