Wilmore, Ky. – Breaking out the bats for a full afternoon, the Transylvania softball team stormed to a pair of convincing victories over the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers Saturday afternoon at the Kirkland Complex.
In the day's opener, Transylvania took an 8-1 victory against Rose-Hulman, and followed up with a 9-1 victory in six innings. The Pioneers combined for 28 hits on the afternoon between both contests on the way to improving to 4-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and 18-7 overall.
Junior pitcher Renae Morton registered a career-high 14 strikeouts in a complete-game victory for game one. In game two, sophomore pitchers Jenna Stiles (four innings) and Jordan Kramer (two innings) teamed up for five strikeouts and retired 23 batters.
Sophomore outfielder Shelby Gambrell collected five hits on the day to lead a Pioneers team that was offensively incensed.
The Pioneers began the afternoon with a solid entrance, gathering its first two runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore infielder Brittany Mumford delivered a triple in a lead-off role, and scored on a groundout for a 1-0 lead. Sophomore outfielder Shelbi Poehlein added an RBI single later in the inning to drive in sophomore outfielder Shelby Gambrell for a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, in the circle, Morton quickly marched through a battery of Engineer hitters, ringing up all three batters in the second inning, and not allowing a baserunner until the fourth inning. Rose-Hulman took advantage of an error for its only run of game one to slice Transylvania's lead in half at 2-1.
But the Pioneers tabulated a flurry of insurance in the bottom frame with a four-run outburst. Freshman catcher Janelle Hynes led off the inning with a double and stole third, while sophomore designated player Jordan Kramer notched a single to put runners on the corners. Transylvania was the beneficiary of more fielding errors by Rose-Hulman as Hynes scored on a bad throw, and Mumford later plated the final run of the innings via another error by the Engineers.
Freshman outfielder Sydney Motell powered a home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning to raise Transylvania's advantage to 7-1.
Morton left the result out of question from that point on, tallying two more strikeouts in the fifth inning, and two more in the seventh and final inning of the game.
Mumford led the Pioneers with a double and a triple, while Gambrell went 2-for-4 with a triple. Senior infielder Shelby Bailey, junior outfielder Madison Dorsey, and Hynes all had multi-hit games as Transylvania collected 15 hits on the day.
Transylvania's first inning in the sequel was even more prolific than the first, collecting five runs for a wire-to-wire victory.
The Pioneers led off the bottom of the first with three straight singles to load the bases. Sophomore infielder Meg Liter made the Engineers pay with a three-run double to center field to clear the bases and register a 3-0 Transy lead.
Transylvania wasn't done producing, as Hynes collected the fourth single of the inning and eventually scored the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly RBI from Dorsey. Liter scored the fourth run of the inning on a Rose-Hulman error.
Like Morton in the first game, the game two starter Stiles did not allow a baserunner until the fourth inning. And like the first game, Rose-Hulman scored its only run in that inning.
The Pioneers, seeking a quick end to the afternoon, raised its lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, and put the game on ice in the sixth inning with the three final runs. Junior outfielder Destiny Garcia delivered an RBI single for an 8-1 lead and made her way to third. Motell delivered the game-ending hit on a sharp liner to center field for the 9-1 final.
Transylvania continues HCAC play next Wednesday, April 12 when it visits the Franklin College Grizzlies in Franklin, Indiana. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 3:30 p.m.
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