The freshmen Lady Jackets led Cedarville’s softball team offensive explosion that ended in a 9-1 mercy rule victory over Malone University. With this win, Cedarville qualified for the Ohio Independent Championship.
Cedarville’s offense broke out early, as Rachel Bull opened the bottom of the first with a double. Bull put herself in scoring position with a steal and crossed home plate when Kenleigh Ludlow reached first base on a dropped fly ball. The bases were loaded by the time Cedarville’s sixth batter, Missy Murphy, got up to bat. Malone walked Murphy, resulting in Ludlow scoring. The Lady Jackets’ third run, Kelsey Wilson, came home on a hit from Courtney Teague that was caught on the track in centerfield.
The Pioneers scored one run in the third, but that was all they could muster. The Lady Jackets brought the game to an early end when they scored five runs in the fourth inning, three of which came with two outs on the board. Malone was unable to score in the top of the fifth, so the game was called on the eight-run mercy rule.
With a total nine runs on 12 hits, Cedarville’s offense clearly overwhelmed Malone. The freshmen especially stood out for the Lady Jackets on Monday afternoon, with Bull going 4-for-4, driving home three runs and crossing the bag once. She singled twice, doubled and had a triple. Teague went 2-for-2 at bat, registering a sacrifice fly and an RBI.
But head coach Wes Rowe said that his team won because they were on top of all parts of the game Monday. He said his defense played well, going without an error on the afternoon. He also said the pitching of Cecelia DeBartolo (18-9) was also stellar. DeBartolo finished the game with three strikeouts and kept the Pioneers to five hits and one earned run.
Rowe said the freshman have been crucial in getting the team to where it is now, with a record of 34-19 on the season.
“Our freshmen have just carried us all year,” he said. “They’re talented, they’re good, and they’ve had good seasons.”
The Lady Jackets recently won the NCCAA Midwest Region championship and will head to the NCCAA National Tournament on May 10-12. But before that tournament, Cedarville, with this win, will go to the Ohio Independent Championship this coming weekend in South Euclid, Ohio.
And though Rowe said the competition Cedarville will face in both these tournaments is better than Malone, he said his team can beat anyone and that he anticipates they will play well these next two weekends.