Softball Returns Home with 7-1 Record

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - page 2

The Muhlenberg softball team closed out its Spring Break trip to Florida with a flurry, playing four games in a 24-hour period. And the way the Mules have been playing, it makes sense that they would want to play as many games as they can in a short period of time.

Alyssa Schell
Junior leadoff batter Alyssa Schell was the catalyst for an offense that averaged more than seven runs per game, hitting .440. But she was only fourth on the team in hitting on the trip: Kline (.560), Wenzel (.517) and Trifiolis (.500) all hit .500 or better.
Muhlenberg won three of the four games, losing only to a nationally ranked opponent, to finish up at 7-1 in Florida. The Mules are 15-1 on their last two spring trips, and on this one they hit .358 as a team and outscored their opponents by a margin of 57-21.

Last night, Muhlenberg faced perhaps its two toughest tests of the trip in Coe (34-8 last year and ranked 21st in Division III this year) and John Carroll (26-13 last year). The Coe game, a matchup of two 4-0 teams, didn’t start all that well for the Mules, as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the first belted a home run.

But junior Kelsey Jones settled down and did not allow another hit until the seventh inning, when the Kohawks pieced together three singles for a walkoff 2-1 win. Muhlenberg managed only two hits in the game, scoring an unearned run in the third on a double steal.

Kelsey Jones
Jones had a 1.66 ERA and held opponents to a .202 batting average in her four Florida starts.
The Mules shook off the loss to come out swinging against John Carroll, scoring in each of the first four innings. Senior Kelly Kline socked a three-run homer in the first, and classmate Erica Wenzel drove in a run with one of her three hits in the second.

Sophomore Taylor Trifiolis added an RBI single in the fourth.

Junior Heather Porrini took the run support and ran with it, tossing six shutout innings. She retired nine straight batters from the fourth through the sixth but ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing hits to the first three batters.

Freshman Sarah Merlo relieved and retired three of the four hitters she faced in her first career appearance to close out the 7-2 win.

Muhlenberg came back the next day to face Finlandia, a team that, like Coe, appeared in the NCAA Tournament last year. Down 2-0 and hitless through three, the Mules came back with two of the multiple-run innings that have become common for them.

Muhlenberg strung together four hits in the fourth to score three runs and take the lead. Finlandia tied it in the bottom of the inning, but in the sixth the Mules went ahead for good when freshman Courtney Simon delivered her first career hit to drive in Trifiolis, her former high school teammate.

A double by Trifiolis – her third hit of the game – highlighted a four-run seventh that put the stamp on an 8-3 win.

Merlo took the ball for her first career start and tossed a complete game as the Mules defeated St. Vincent, 7-1. Back-to-back-to-back doubles by Kline, sophomore Brittany Dzieciolowski and Trifiolis were part of a five-run first inning, and Kline hit her third home run of the trip, a two-run shot, in the second.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Coe game | John Carroll game | Finlandia game | St. Vincent game