CLERMONT, Fla. – A seven-run inning elevated the University of Chicago softball team to an 11-2 win over Millikin University, but a pitching duel in game two broke against the Maroons late in a 2-1 loss to Buena Vista University on Tuesday.
The Maroons moved to 4-1 on the season as they reached the halfway mark of their spring break trip to Florida.
Game One – UChicago 11, Millikin 2
UChicago was first on the scoreboard with tallies in the second and third innings. The first run came on an error, then in the third, senior first base Kathleen Kohm knocked a single to center field to score senior outfielder Devan Parkison. The Maroons almost added to the lead but Kohm was thrown out trying to score on a fielder's choice.
Millikin threatened to put together a big inning of its own in the bottom half of the third. The Big Blue loaded the bases with no outs, then tied the score at 2-2 with a two-run single to center field.
But the Maroons answered back in a big way with a seven-run fourth inning to blow the game open. The first five batters all reached base, and senior shortstop Kristin Lopez and Kohm capitalized with back-to-back two-run doubles to center. A wild pitch brought in Kohm from third base, and freshman designated player Carly Schulz smoked a RBI triple to left field. She subsequently scored on a groundout by junior second base Anna Woolery.
The run parade concluded in the fifth inning as UChicago ended the game early due to the eight-run rule. Lopez delivered another two-run double in the frame to account for the final 11-2 score.
UChicago knocked 12 hits in the game and played error-free defense. Four players ended up with multiple hits. Kohm led the way by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Lopez went 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI to give her a team-high 14 RBI on the season. Schulz (one RBI) was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish and Parkison was 2-for-3 out of the leadoff spot.
Sophomore Molly Moran started the game and threw two innings, with two runs, one hit, three walks and two strikeouts. Freshman Jordyne Prussak then came in to hurl three innings of relief and improved her season record to 2-0. Prussak's pitching line included one hit, two walks and one strikeout.
Game Two – Buena Vista 2, UChicago 1
The second game of the day brought UChicago its first loss of the season. Buena Vista pushed two runs across the plate – one in the first inning and another in the last – while holding the Maroon offense, which had scored at least six runs in each of its four previous contests, to just one.
The Beavers scored their first run with one out in the top of the first. But senior pitcher Jordan Poole, making her second start and third appearance of the season, responded by retiring the next 17 batters she faced. Poole (1-1) struck out nine on the way to her first complete game of the season.
Serena Moss got UChicago on the board in the fourth inning. The freshman outfielder, who has scored at least one run in every game this season, singled with two outs, stole second and then crossed home plate thanks to a RBI single by Parkison.
Poole entered the seventh inning with the score tied at one to face the heart of the Buena Vista order. The Beavers started with a single from Keely Bycroft, who advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt. UChicago was able to hold Bycroft at third after a one-out hit, but she scored the winning run after another successful bunt.
Parkison, Kohm and junior third base Maggie O'Hara each posted two hits on the day. UChicago, which outhit Buena Vista 10-4, stranded 10 runners in the contest. The Maroons recorded at least one hit in each of the first six innings.
In the pitching circle, Poole evened her season record at 1-1. Along with the nine strikeouts, her pitching line included four hits, two runs and no walks. So far this season, she has whiffed 23 batters in 14 innings.
- Wednesday, March 23 – UChicago vs. Eastern Connecticut State University, 1 PM (ET) / UChicago vs. University of Wisconsin-Platteville, 3 PM (ET)