Muskingum College ended John Carroll University’s three game winning streak, but the two losses to the Fighting Muskies wasn’t all bad for JCU’s softball team.
The NCAA Division III preseason softball poll ranked Muskingum as number one in the nation. As of April 17 Muskingum is the number one team in the Midwest region and holds the third best record in the nation.
However, that did not keep JCU from giving Muskingum all they could handle and more.
Playing a doubleheader on April 9 in New Concord, JCU took Muskingum to the limit in their first game, falling by a score of 4-2. JCU carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to strong pitching from senior Betsy Rafferty and a two run single from junior Bethany Bachman.
However, the high powered Muskingum offense scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one more in the fifth to put away JCU in the first game of the double header.
The nightcap featured more strong pitching from JCU as freshman Laura Boselovic kept Muskingum quiet for the first four innings before the first runner crossed the plate. JCU could not capitalize on the strong pitching they received as they were shutout until the seventh inning.
Muskingum exploded for five runs in the fifth and sixth innings carrying their lead into the final inning. JCU needed an offensive explosion of their own to comeback.
JCU’s heroics came too late as Muskingum quickly recorded two outs before JCU could get anyone on base. Rafferty would start the scoring with an RBI single. Her single was followed by a two RBI single by Thompson. The pair of scores brought JCU within two runs. However, it would be too little too late as JCU grounded out to end the game with another loss, 5-3.
The losses to Muskingum came on the heels of an impressive run by JCU.
On April 1, JCU edged Washington & Jefferson 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader ended by rain. JCU scored three times in the sixth inning and junior Barbie Lewis would preserve the victory. JCU was led by Thompson, who went 2-3 with two RBI. Freshman Julie Marlowe also went 2-3 with 1 RBI.
Two days later, JCU recorded their first sweep of the season with a pair of victories over Baldwin-Wallace.
JCU’s bats were on fire in their first game with B-W as JCU scored all ten of their runs before B-W could record one of their own. After scoring twice in the first inning JCU brought in five runs in the second to fuel the victory.
Thompson blasted a three run home run to put JCU up 7-0 after sophomore Jamie Smrdel’s two RBI single. Coupled with junior Staci Ziobert’s RBI single, senior Alisha Zapour’s two RBI double would cap JCU’s scoring spree.
The night cap was closer as it took extra innings for JCU to earn their first sweep of the 2007 campaign.
Boselovic’s complete game kept the B-W bats quiet until the bottom of the seventh when B-W would finally answer Smrdel’s first inning RBI double.
Smrdel would add another run for JCU in the eighth with her fifth home run of the year and Thompson would score on a wild pitch to put JCU ahead 3-1. Boselovic would continue to stifle B-W as she preserved the win and the sweep.
JCU added another sweep with an 8-4 and 9-7 win over Heidelberg on Tuesday.
JCU was in action yesterday against Capital and plays Otterbein tomorrow before returning home Saturday against Wilmington.