DePauw Splits Doubleheader with Wittenberg; Can Clinch Second Straight NCAC Title on Saturday
Greencastle, Ind. - Kahla Nolan tossed a three-hit shutout and was aided by a pair of solo homers as DePauw topped Wittenberg, 5-0, in the opener of the North Coast Athletic Conference doubleheader but Wittenberg came back with a 2-1 win in the nightcap and earn the split.
DePauw is 21-15 overall and 11-3 in the NCAC, while Wittenberg moved to 19-7 overall and 9-5 in conference play.
After the teams battled through four scoreless innings in the opener, Wittenberg's Ashlee Wright singled with two outs in the fifth and Shannon Lance followed with a single to right. An error on the play allowed Wright to advance to third. Lance then attempted to steal second, but the Tigers cut off the throw to second and nailed Wright at the plate as she attempted to score.
Linsey Button led off the bottom of the fifth with a homer to right to make it 1-0 before the Tigers added four in the sixth. Sammi Bell started the scoring with a leadoff homer to right center. Taylor Golden followed with a double and Jennifer Ridge with a bunt single. Lauren Krumwiede's sacrifice bunt plated Golden and moved Ridge to second.
Button walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Gabby Smart delivered a two-run single down the right field line.
Ridge had two of DePauw's seven hits, while three different Wittenberg players had one hit apiece.
Nolan improved to 18-9 with her fifth shutout of the season and struck out seven. Rachel Ross dropped to 14-5 with the loss.
In game two, Wittenberg took a 1-0 lead in the third as Lance and Loren Combs reached on infield errors and Laura Rose loaded the bases with a bunt single. Abby Baker hit into a fielder's choice that forced Combs at third, but allowed Lance to score. Nolan retired the next two batters to end the inning.
DePauw countered in the bottom half of the inning as Julia Waggoner led off with a single, but was forced at second by Bell's fielder's choice. Bell stole second and scored on Taylor Golden's single to center.
Wittenberg scored the go-ahead run in the fifth as Combs doubled with one out and scored when Baker also doubled with two outs.
Golden had two of DePauw's seven hits, while Combs had two of Wittenberg's six. Nolan dropped to 18-10 and struck out five with no walks. Alyssa Durette improved to 5-1 after allowing just three hits in four innings of relief.
DePauw wraps up NCAC play on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Wooster. The Tigers can clinch a share of their second straight NCAC title with one win and can win the title outright with a sweep.