MOUNT PLEASANT – Kara Harris (Sr.-Berry, Ill.) hit a grand slam home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Iowa Wesleyan College an improbable 4-3 win over Bellevue (Neb.) University in the first game of a doubleheader Friday night at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
The Tigers came out of Friday night’s non-conference doubleheader with a split, as the Bruins came back to dominate the second game with a 19-1 win in five innings. IWC is now 16-26 on the season, while Bellevue, a member of the NAIA Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, is now 24-11.
Wesleyan got out of the evening with one win even though it trailed almost the entire way in both games and had just nine hits combined over two games. The Tigers fell behind in the first inning in both games and trailed all the way in the first game until Harris delivered a stunning home run with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Bellevue ace Alissa Crumley.
In the opener Bellevue scored twice in the first inning and the Tigers were held to just two hits in the first six innings as the lead stayed that way. IWC had one golden chance to score in the fourth when Ashley Mysliwiec (Fr.-Antioch, Ill.) reached on an error and Leigha Strong (Jr.-Muscatine, Iowa) doubled to put runners at second and third with no outs, but the Tigers were unable to get a clutch hit and three straight batters went down, unable to drive the runs in.
The Bruins added an insurance run in the top of the seventh for a 3-0 lead going into the Tigers’ final at bat. Sarah Weber (Sr.-Danville, Iowa) single to left and Molly Ward (So.-Baylis, Ill.) hit an infield single to put two on with one out and chase Bellevue starter Allie Bartley from the game.
Crumley came on in relief and recorded a strikeout for the second out, but Kali Hills (So.-Fruitland, Iowa) entered as a pinch hitter and worked Crumley for a walk, taking a very close pitch with a full count for ball four. That brought up Harris, who on the first pitch swinging hit a fly to left that cleared the fence for her eighth homer this year and her first career grand slam.
Trisha Stogdill (Sr.-Crawfordsville, Iowa) picked up the win, pitching a complete game and allowing two earned runs on nine hits while striking out six. Crumley was charged with the loss, dropping her to 15-3 this year.
The second game was a mess for the Tigers, as the Bruins scored five times in both the first and second innings and added six more in the fourth. Katie Lefler had two home runs and seven RBIs, including a grand slam with two outs in the first inning after an IWC error extended the inning. Bellevue had 19 hits and scored in every inning, while Harris drove in the lone Wesleyan run with an RBI double in the second.
Wesleyan returns to MCC play on Sunday against William Penn University in Oskaloosa at 1 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 4 Bellevue 3
Box score Game 2 Bellevue 19 IWC 1 (5 inn.)