MOUNT PLEASANT – Though continuing to remain competitive with almost every team it plays, the Iowa Wesleyan College softball team again came up just short in a pair of games Saturday afternoon, finishing with a 1-4 record in its annual Betty Sammons Classic softball tourney at East Lake Park.
The Tigers lost both of their games on Saturday, both by narrow margins. IWC was defeated 6-4 by the University of St. Francis (Ill.), and then went to extra innings before losing 10-9 to Purdue University North Central (Ind.) in its final game of the two-day tournament.
After a first day which saw all eight participating teams separated by just one game, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University and St. Francis (Ill.) separated from the pack on Saturday as both tied for the best record in the two-day tourney with matching 4-1 marks. Purdue North Central and Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) College were both 3-2, Mount Mercy College and Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) University finished 2-3 and IWC and Trinity Christian (Ill.) College were 1-4.
Wesleyan concluded a disappointing week that ends with the Tigers on a skid resulting in 10 losses in its last 11 games. IWC fought back in both of their games on Saturday after falling behind early, but then saw their work go for naught as both opponents pulled back ahead in the final innings and, in the case of Purdue North Central, in extra innings.
The Tigers trailed St. Francis 4-0 after two innings but scored four times in the third as Kara Harris (Sr.-Berry, Ill.) and Ashley Mysliwiec (Fr.-Antioch, Ill.) both tripled, Leigha Strong (Jr.-Muscatine, Iowa) reached on an error to score a run, and Molly Ward (So.-Baylis, Ill.) later singled in a pair to tie it. The Fighting Saints answered, though, with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and Wesleyan never got another runner past second base the rest of the way.
IWC also fell behind Purdue North Central right away, going down 2-0 in the top of the first inning. The Panthers continued to lead all the way until the Tigers finally tied it in the bottom of the seventh when Mysliwiec reached on an error and Strong followed with an inside-the-park homer to tie the score at 5-5.
The game went to an eighth inning under international tiebreaker rules with runners placed at second base to start off each teams turn at bat. The Panthers would score five times in the top of the eighth as Sandi Downs singled in a run with one out, Nicole Nickoson hit a two-out RBI single, and Sam Michalski hit a three-run inside-the-park homer.
Wesleyan was not finished, though, as Ayla Serrano (Fr.-Rock Island, Ill.) singled in a run and Mysliwiec later singled to score two more. Haleigh Hempen (Sr.-Hamilton, Ill.) then followed with a two-out RBI triple down the left field line but had to be held at third, and with two outs Ward popped up to second base to end the game.
Mysliwiec led the Tigers with four hits on the day, four RBIs and three runs scored. Hempen, Harris and Ward all added three hits each as IWC finished with 20 hits over the two games.
Iowa Wesleyan returns to Midwest Collegiate Conference play for a doubleheader on Wednesday against Mount Mercy College at 4 p.m. at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
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 USF 6 IWC 4
Box score PNC 10 IWC 9 (8 inn.)