KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Mount St. Joseph softball team has gotten off to an outstanding start to the 2019 season. That hot start continued on Monday, as they defeated Ohio Wesleyan 6-1 and Lakeland 4-1.
In game one Coach Goderwis handed the ball to her senior Brianna Kauf (Orrville, Ohio/Orrville) to start the game. Kauf put together another outstanding start, throwing 6.0 innings of 4 hit, 1 run ball. She did so while striking out three OWU hitters. In the seventh inning she turned the ball over to freshman Kamryn McCool (Brookville, Ind./Franklin Co.). McCool threw a perfect seventh inning, striking out one.
The Lions took a two run lead in the top of the first inning. Alehia Tucker (Covington, Ky./Holy Cross) led off the game reaching by an error, and Brooke Otto (Brookville, Ind./Franklin Co.) followed that up with a hit-by-pitch. One out later and runners at first and third, Sarah Miller (Fishers, Ind./St. Theodore Guerin) lazered a ball into left field to score Tucker from second. Otto also came around to score on an error by the leftfielder.
The two runs were all the Lions would need to secure the win in this one, thanks to the dominant pitching effort. For good measure though they would add three more in the fourth inning and one in the sixth. Offensively the Lions hammered out eight hits as a team. With Brandy Bunch (Mason, Ohio/Mason) joining Miller and Kauf with a pair of hits each.
In game two the Lions opened with Alaina Maddy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) inside the circle. The freshman has been outstanding for the Lions through the early going. She is currently tied for the team lead with two wins, and has the lowest ERA on the team at 1.05. She threw the front 3.0 innings, allowing one hit and one run, striking out two. In the fourth inning, Sarah Miller the Lions ace from a season ago took over. She threw 4.0 innings of 1-hit, 5-strikeout, shutout softball, gaining her first save of the season.
The Lions again set the tone early offensively, scoring in the first inning. Otto stepped into the box with one out in the bottom of the first, and drilled a double to right centerfield. The next batter Savannah Sturgill (West Harrison, Ind./East Central), singled into right to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
The Lions would hold the lead for the next two innings, but in the top of the third Lakeland tied the game at 1. The Lions did not waste much time snatching the lead right back. In the bottom of the fourth inning they struck for three and put the game out of reach. In the fourth Olivia Quick (Sunman, Ind./East Central), MaKayla Hanes (New Paris, Ohio/Greenville) and Tucker each drove in a run.
Opportunistic offense and stellar pitching led the Lions to a 4-1 win, moving their spring break record to 3-1.
The Lions will have an off day tomorrow, before taking on Gordon and Ursinus on Wednesday.