Softball Swedes slug six homers during split

By Bethany College Sports Information
March 30, 2014

LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s softball team and arch-rival Kansas Wesleyan settled nothing on Saturday, with both teams winning a game in the doubleheader.

Wesleyan won the first game 4-3, but Bethany dominated the nightcap for a 6-1 verdict.

"We were proud of the way our girls battled and never gave up in Game one," Bethany coach Janice Esses said. "We just could not make adjustments at the plate. Daria Leid has a great rise ball and we did not lay off of it. We were getting under it and hanging the ball too much. We rallied back and had a good effort to come back in the seventh, but could not finish. Game Two I think we made a better adjustment. We had better contact and quality at-bats at the plate. We also had a good pitching effort by Kierstin (Stolley), totaling nine innings on the day. She did a really good job keeping their good hitters off balance. We took more control in game two and are proud of the way we bounced back."

The Coyotes broke through first in Game One, scoring one run in the top of the second. KWU plated two more in the third to take a 3-0 lead.

After Bethany was unable to score in the bottom of the third, the Coyotes added their fourth run of the game in the top of the fourth.

However, the Bethany bats responded in the bottom half of the inning as Ashley Montoya  smacked a solo home run, cutting the KWU advantage to three.

After scoreless fifth and sixth innings, the Swedes did not allow KWU to score in the top of the seventh. The Bethany bats went to work in the bottom half of the inning as Kelli Traffas singled and Ashley Nicolich blasted a two-run home run. After a Coyote error, the Swedes stranded a runner on first to end the game,.

Nicolich tallied one hit, one run and two RBIs while Traffas added two hits and one run. Montoya recorded one hit, one run and one RBI.

Stephanie Minder started in the circle for the Swedes, throwing five innings and allowing four earned runs off six hits and four walks, striking out two. Stolley threw two scoreless and hitless innings in relief, walking one.

The Swedes struck first in Game Two, plating three runs in the first. Jasmine Zaker singled, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mariana Cerenio-Jordan  and scored on a squeeze bunt by Montoya. Nicolich then slammed her second home run of the day to give the Swedes a 3-0 lead.

KWU scored once in the top of the third to cut the Bethany lead to two. After a scoreless fourth, the Swedes returned to the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. Zaker roped a solo home run, followed two batters later by a Montoya solo home run to give the Swedes a 5-1 advantage.

Bethany tacked on its sixth run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Jordan Blakesley  muscled a change-up over the fence for the Swedes' sixth home run of the day. 

Montoya led the Bethany bats with two hits, two runs and two RBIs while Zaker added two hits, two runs and one RBI. Nicolich tallied one hit, one run and two RBIs as Blakesley contributed one hit, one run and one RBI. Traffas and Courtney Davis each tacked on one hit.

Stolley pitched the complete game for Bethany, allowing one earned run off three hits and four walks.

The Swedes are currently 20-17 overall and 3-1 in the KCAC — which puts them in a four-way tie for the lead. After beginning the season 4-12, Bethany is 20-5 in its last 25 contests. The squad returns to action today as it travels to Hastings College for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.