By Joshua Laska - Sports/Managing Editor
Sophomore designated hitter Stephani Ellis lead the Vulcans with two hits on two attempts and one walk. While, senior shortstop Jillian Russell helped by collecting two hits in three batting attempts as well as two runs batted in. Sophomore first basemen Shelby Lia and classmate second basemen Natalie Wideman were the only Vulcans to score. Lia went two for four with one run and Wideman went one for four with one run scored as well.
Lia led the defensive side with 10 putouts behind her were Wideman and senior catcher Alyson Johnson with three each. Freshman right-fielder Shelby Heyd added two putouts, while senior left-fielder Kristen McKenzie, freshman center fielder Breanna Morris and Russell all added one each. Sophomore pitcher Hope Spancake posted seven innings of work for the Vulcans with three strikeouts. Spancake gave up no earned runs and 10 hits in her seven innings of work.
In the first game versus Alderson-Broaddus Russell led the way batting three for four or a .750 batting average, as well as she drove in two runs and scored once. A. Johnson added a run for the Vulcans on her two hits and one walk on three batting attempts. Lia added another run on one hit, while Wideman added one more run after being hit by a pitch.
A. Johnson and Lia both led the defensive side of the ball with eight putouts each. While, Russell added four putouts and Wideman added one. Sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Schilling pitched all seven innings for the Vulcans and gave up three earned runs. Schilling also collected eight strikeouts in the victory, against the 30 batters she faced.
In the second victory over Alderson-Broaddus Wideman and Ellis both went two for three, with Wideman batting in one run. Freshman center fielder Katie Natter scored a team leading two runs on one at bat. Lia, A. Johnson, McKenzie and Morris all scored one run, both Morris and McKenzie did it on one hit in three at bats. A. Johnson also batted in two runs to lead the Vulcans.
Defensively Lia led the Vulcans for a third game in a row with eight putouts. Following Lia was freshman catcher Paige Johnson with six putouts. While, Wideman added five, Heyd added two; followed by Ellis, McKenzie and Morris all added one each. Spancake pitched six innings for the Vulcans with five strikeouts. Schilling came in to relieve Spancake and got her second win of the season with three strikeouts. Spancake and Schilling combined for four earned runs and 36 batters faced.
Morris and A Johnson helped mercy rule Brevard with two runs each, on one hit and two hits, respectively. P. Johnson and Ellis both collected two hits on three at bats, with one run scored in each. P. Johnson led the Vulcans with three runs batted in. Wideman and Natter both batted in two runs each on one hit, Wideman also collected one hit. Russell, McKenzie and Heyd all scored one each, Heyd also batted in two runs.
In the final game of the Invitational, Lia again paced the defensive effort with 11 putouts. P. Johnson added three putouts, while Wideman, Ellis, and Heyd added two, one, and one, respectively. Schilling pitched five and a third innings to collect her third victory in three games. Schilling added two strikeouts and gave up one earned run against the 20 batters she faced. Following Schilling, freshman pitched Madison Cashner came into close out the game with two thirds of an inning pitched. Cashner collected one strike out and no earned runs against the four batters she faced.
The Vulcans return to action next Thursday, March 8 in Florida for the Rebel Spring Games. They will take on St. Cloud State, Saginaw Valley, Minnesota State Mankato, Ferris State, Adelphia, C.W. Post, Tiffin, Caldwell, Wayne State and Southwest Minnesota State in tournament.
Schilling was named PSAC West Pitcher of the Week after posting three wins last week.