MOUNT PLEASANT – Mallory Crane (Jr.-Des Moines, Iowa) pitched her first career shutout and Iowa Wesleyan College played error-free defense in a successful Senior Night doubleheader sweep of Ashford University on Wednesday at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
The Tigers defeated the Saints by scores of 9-2 and 2-0 in their final home games of the year and final games of the regular season. IWC finished the regular season with a 19-31 overall record, including a 9-12 mark in Midwest Collegiate Conference play and sixth place in the conference in the regular season.
Wesleyan got excellent pitching all night and played some of its finest defense of the season in completing a three-game season sweep of Ashford (12-30 overall, 4-18 MCC). Pitchers Ayla Serrano (Fr.-Rock Island, Ill.) and Crane combined to allow just 12 hits over a pair of complete game wins, and the Tigers did not commit an error all night.
Serrano was the winning pitcher in the opener after allowing two runs and seven hits over seven innings. She received most of her offensive help in the fourth inning when the Tigers scored six runs, sending 10 batters to the plate in what proved to be the deciding inning. Kali Hills (So.-Fruitland, Iowa), Serrano and Leigha Strong (Jr.-Muscatine, Iowa) all drove in single runs and Ashley Mysliwiec (Fr.-Antioch, Ill.) doubled in a pair as IWC turned a tie game into an 8-2 lead.
Crane and Haleigh Hempen (Sr.-Hamilton, Ill.) combined to provide the main production in a second game which turned into a pitchers’ duel between Crane and Ashford hurlers Kendra Roth and Nicole Woodard. Hempen had a pair of hits and drove in the lone runs of the game, scoring Myliwiec with a single in the third and plating Strong with another single in the fifth.
That would be enough as Crane pitched a five-hitter for just her second complete game of the year and her first shutout. The junior allowed five hits and struck out three while walking three, continually getting Saints hitters to hit into ground outs on the infield. Fourteen of Ashford’s outs came on ground outs.
Sarah Weber (Sr.-Danville, Iowa) also had three hits in the second game and finished with four hits on the night, tied with Serrano for honors for the doubleheader. Serrano also had three hits in the first game of the doubleheader, while Mysliwiec and Strong both drove in three runs each in the first game. The games were the final home games for five IWC seniors, including Hempen, Weber, Kara Harris (Barry, Ill.), Trisha Stogdill (Crawfordsville, Iowa) and Molly Niedert (Sumner, Iowa).
The Tigers will open MCC Tournament play on Saturday in one of the conference’s three pods of three teams each. IWC will face top seeded Mount Mercy College and #9 seed Viterbo (Wis.) University this weekend in Cedar Rapids in a double-elimination tourney. The winners of each of the three pods, as well as the top ranked regular season team of the remaining six schools, will all advance to a double-elimination final four next weekend in Ames.
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 Game 1 IWC 9 Ashford 2
Box score Game 2 IWC 2 Ashford 0