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Women’s softball falls to Illinois Wesleyan

April 8, 2016

Anthony Matozzi / The Courier - Senior Johnna Schultz prepares to field a ball in the infield.

Monmouth College played against Illinois Wesleyan on April 5 at Monmouth College. The Fighting Scots lost both the games against the Titans. The Scots put the nationally ranked Titans at bay for most of Tuesday’s double header but eventually dropped ends, 9-1, 10-0.

“We need to have more confidence in our hitting,” said sophomore Elizabeth Hippen. “Sometimes we get inside of ourselves and the hits don’t come like we want. I know the score doesn’t show it but we had a solid outing from Kaylee Kurtz and that’s what we need from her.”

Junior Kirstyn Ozga began the Scots half of the first inning with a leadoff triple. After a strikeout by senior Emily Watkins, senior Charlotte Park put the ball into play, but Ozga was called out at home as she attempted to cross home plate.

Sophomore Michaela Guthrie singled to setup up Kurtz to drive home Park for the Scots’ first run of the double header. The Scots held onto their lead over their nationally ranked opponents until the top of the fourth when the Titans scored a pair of runs over the Scots.

The Titans offense continued to add to their lead by adding three additional runs in the top of the fifth inning. Illinois Wesleyan put the game out of sight by scoring four unearned runs in the final inning of the first game. The Scots finished with seven hits and one run in the double header’s first bout.

“I think we came out very strong in the first game,” said junior Maggie Hayes. “Illinois Wesleyan is a nationally ranked team and we were winning for the majority of the first game. I think we have proven ourselves and our conference contention the last couple games we played when we swept Cornell and split with Lake Forest. I’m excited to see our progress throughout the season”

Monmouth fell behind in the opening inning of the nightcap, but Elizabeth Hippen soon shut the Titans down for the next four innings. The Titans offense then roared to life to the tune of six hits in a four-run fifth to take a 6-0 lead and then would go on to add another four runs in the sixth inning of the ball game.

“We were up in the first game for the first few innings, said junior Caity Flary. “Then errors really made a difference in the game as well. They came back and they just were out hitting us, we were making contact but just not executing those hits. They are a really solid team and we just didn’t come out as strong the 2nd game. Our energy definitely was low during the 2nd game which is contagious to everyone. If one person makes a mistake the whole team tends to get down.”

Hippen’s scoreless four innings against the Titans continues her streak of dominance from her stellar weekend in which she went 3-0 and was named conference pitcher of the week. Hippen posted a 1.24 ERA and struck out 22 batters and surrendered just three earned runs while holding opponents to a .190 average across her three weekend appearances against conference opponents.

Monmouth College returns to Midwest Conference play this weekend as they play host to a pair of conference foes. The Scots will play host to Lawrence University on Saturday, April 9th at 3 p.m. and then play host to St. Norbert College on Sunday, April 10th also at 3 p.m.

Pritesh Chalise
Sports Contributor

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