MOUNT PLEASANT – Haleigh Hempen (Sr.-Hamilton, Ill.) drove in five runs and Leigha Strong (Jr.-Muscatine, Iowa) hit a pair of inside-the-park home runs as Iowa Wesleyan College finished with a 1-2 record on the first day of its annual Betty Sammons Classic softball tourney at East Lake Park.
The Tigers opened the day with an 11-4 loss to a strong Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University team before splitting a pair of games against Trinity Christian (Ill.) College. IWC defeated the Trolls 6-2 in the first game between the teams, but then lost 7-6 to TCC in its final game of the day.
The Tigers were not alone at all in tasting both victory and defeat on Friday, for all eight teams in the tourney finished with at least one win and one loss on the afternoon. Four teams finished 2-1 records in the round-robin style tourney, while the other four teams went 1-2 on the day.
IWC rebounded from an offensive dud on Thursday when the team scored just two runs in a doubleheader sweep by Purdue North Central (Ind.), this time scoring 16 runs over three games. The Tigers were competitive for most of the day, with the exception of single rough innings in both of the two losses.
Four different players drove in all of the runs for Wesleyan, with Hempen leading the way with five RBIs and Strong and Ashley Mysliwiec (Fr.-Antioch, Ill.) both driving in four runs. All four hit inside-the-park homers on the extra long fields at East Lake Park, while Molly Ward (So.-Baylis, Ill.) also knocked in three runs.
The Tigers hung tough in their opener against an Olivet Nazarene team that came into the day with a 29-3 overall record, leading the game after 4 ½ innings before ONU’s Tigers took over. IWC led 4-3 before Olivet scored six times in the bottom of the fifth and then added two more in the sixth.
Wesleyan rapped out 12 hits in the first game against Trinity Christian as Mysliwiec had three hits including a triple and home run. Ayla Serrano (Fr.-Rock Island, Ill.) also had two hits and two runs scored and pitched the whole way, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts.
IWC was stymied most of the second game by TCC’s Kelly Maloney, who allowed just six hits and kept the Tigers at bay with just one strikeout. The Trolls scored five times in the top of the first and never trailed despite a rally in the late innings led by Strong, who homered twice to get Wesleyan within a run in the final inning. Mallory Crane (Jr.-Des Moines, Iowa) came on in relief in the first inning and kept IWC close by pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out six.
Olivet Nazarene, Purdue North Central, Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) University and the University of St. Francis (Ill.) all went 2-1 in Friday’s games of the Sammons Classic. IWC, Trinity Christian, Mount Mercy College and Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) College all went 1-2 on Friday. The tourney continues on Saturday with all teams playing two more games. Play begins at 9 a.m. with three games, including IWC hosting St. Francis (Ill.).
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; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score ONU 11 IWC 4
Box score Game 1 IWC 6 TCC 2
Box score Game 2 TCC 7 IWC 6