NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Sophomore third baseman Kate Skeens (Gas City, Ind.) laced a run-scoring double, while junior right fielder Mallorie Jennings (Bourbon, Ind.) sent another Manchester University score scooting home with a single as part of a two-run sixth inning, lifting the Spartans to a 3-2 nightcap victory over Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association leading Alma College Monday, April 24.
After being no-hit by Scots' standout hurler Morgan Stratton in the opener at Spartan Field, the Black and Gold ran into more top-flight pitching from Kate McClure in the second contest. The visitors managed to nick Spartans' freshman starter Tristyn Koon (Kokomo, Ind.) for two runs in the first, and McClure, after being touched for a pair of safeties in the bottom of the first settled in and retired 12 of the next 13.
However, in the bottom of the fifth, Coach Josh Dzurick's crew got their bats rolling, as Jennings was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman catcher Savannah Delgado (Kokomo, Ind.) and got to third on a base hit by freshman pinch hitter Makenzi Nyland (Avon, Ind.). Junior second baseman Laurren Ladwig (Crown Point, Ind.) broke up the 11-inning-plus scoreless string with a run-scoring fielder's choice. From there, Skeens tied it with the two-bagger that plated freshman pinch runner Makenzzie Kazmierczak for a 2-2 tie followed by a two-out single from Jennings that sent senior pinch runner Chloe Hensley (South Bend, Ind.) with the eventual winning run.
Koon was the beneficiary, allowing only two hits over the final six frames for her fourth decision. Junior Madisyn Walter (Hanna, Ind.) nearly joined her as a winner in the circle, as she matched Stratton pitch for pitch until the top of the seventh. Alma sent in eight runs on nine hits to break up the pitchers' duel.
Manchester University (13-19-1) goes back into Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Wednesday, April 26. First pitch against the Bluffton University Beavers is 3:30 p.m. at the Emory Sears Athletic Complex.