MOLINE, ILL. – As it has been many times this season for the Iowa Wesleyan College softball team, it was close-but-no-cigar again in a pair of losses at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Challenge event held Saturday at the Greenvalley Sports Complex.
The Tigers lost games to Waldorf College and Mount Mercy College in the second round of the MCC’s Challenge series, in which conference schools face each other one time as the third game of their season series. IWC lost both games after being tied or leading in the late innings and dropped to 17-31 on the season, 7-12 in conference play.
Wesleyan opened with a 15-10 loss to Waldorf in a game that started out low scoring but turned into a shootout in the late innings. The Warriors turned the game around by scoring 11 runs in the top of the sixth inning, erasing a 3-2 IWC lead going into the sixth and building a margin that lasted even after the Tigers posted a sizable rally of their own in the bottom of the sixth.
Waldorf sent 16 batters to the plate in the sixth, scoring 11 times on 10 hits that included back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Warriors turned the 3-2 deficit into a 13-3 lead that the Tigers were unable to overcome despite scoring six times in the bottom of the sixth. Sarah Weber (Sr.-Danville, Iowa) hit a two-run homer and 11 IWC players batted and trimmed the deficit to 13-9 heading into the final inning, when Waldorf added two more runs and Wesleyan could only tally one more.
Ayla Serrano (Fr.-Rock Island, Ill.) and Leigha Strong (Jr.-Muscatine, Iowa) both had four hits and the Tigers had 16 hits in the game. Serrano also scored four runs while Haleigh Hempen (Sr.-Hamilton, Ill.) had two hits and drove in three runs.
IWC lost to Mount Mercy by a 7-3 score in the second game, once again scaring the conference leaders in a game that was tied in the fifth inning. The Mustangs’ Liz Hill hit a grand slam with two out in the bottom of the fifth, though, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Strong hit a two-run homer and Lauren Konop (Fr.-Plano, Ill.) also singled in a run for the Tigers. Brooke Iversen (Jr.-Earlville, Ill.) pitched a complete game and allowed nine hits and six earned runs, shutting down the Mustangs much of the way with the exception of Hill’s home run.
Saturday’s third game against St. Ambrose University was suspended shortly after it started, as heavy rains moved into the Quad Cities area. That game as well, as all of Sunday’s scheduled games, including the Tigers’ games against Clarke College and Waldorf, were eventually cancelled due to heavy rains Saturday night.
IWC will be home on Wednesday for its final home games of the season when it hosts Ashford University at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex. The doubleheader will begin at 5 p.m., and will include Senior Night activities honoring the team’s seniors.
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.