MOUNT PLEASANT – Leigha Strong (Jr.-Muscatine, Iowa) homered and drove in five runs and Iowa Wesleyan College came from behind in both games for a big doubleheader sweep of Grand View University Wednesday afternoon at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
The Tigers hammered out 26 hits over the two games and came back from deficits in both games to improve to 5-3 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and 12-14 overall. IWC also won the season series over a Viking team that was picked as the conference favorites in a preseason poll of league coaches.
Wesleyan ran its win streak to four games by getting hitting contributions throughout the lineup. Sarah Weber (Sr.-Danville, Iowa) had five hits while Strong, Ashley Mysliwiec (Fr.-Antioch, Ill.) and Lauren Konop (Fr.-Plano, Ill.) all had four hits.
The Tigers also did their best work in the later innings, warming up after falling behind in both games of the twinbill. In the first game Grand View led 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth before Strong tied it up at 3-3 with a long home run to left-center. IWC then took the lead with four runs in the sixth with Weber and Strong both driving in runs and Haleigh Hempen (Sr.-Hamilton, Ill.) adding a two-run double.
The Vikings (9-19 overall, 5-5 MCC) also took the lead early in the second game, scoring three in the top of the third for a 3-0 lead. Strong and Hempen both drove in runs to tie it up, including a run-scoring triple from Strong, but GVU rebounded with two more runs in the top of the fourth for a 5-2 lead.
Wesleyan bounced right back again, though, scoring four in the bottom of the fourth with Ayla Serrano (Fr.-Rock Island, Ill.) delivering the biggest hit with a bases-loaded double. She would later score on a sacrifice fly by Strong, and the Tigers would not trail again.
Mallory Crane (Jr.-Des Moines, Iowa) picked up the win in the second game, coming on in relief of Brooke Iversen (Jr.-Earlville, Ill.) in the fourth and finishing the game, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five. Serrano was the winner in the first game, throwing a complete game and allowing four earned runs while striking out seven.
Hempen was 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the first game and finished with four RBIs on the night. Serrano drove in three in the second game, Weber had three hits and two runs scored and Konop scored three times in the nightcap and four times on the evening.
IWC will next compete in the University of St. Francis (Ill.) Spring Fling tourney on Friday and Saturday in Joliet, Ill. The Tigers will open on Friday against Goshen (Ind.) College at 4:15 p.m.
For more information regarding the IWC softball program or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score Game 1 IWC 7 GVU 5
Box score Game 2 IWC 9 GVU 5