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Miller's Gem in Game One Leads Softball to Split Against Alvernia

David Morgan - Stylish Images
David Morgan - Stylish Images

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus softball team earned a split with Alvernia in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at the Snell Softball Field. The Bears won game one 2-1 before being edged 5-4 in game two.


With the split, the Bears record moved to 14-11 overall while the Golden Wolves of the MAC Commonwealth record now stands at 9-14 overall.



Alvernia loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first and pushed a run across off a sacrifice fly to take the early 1-0 lead.  Despite the start, junior pitcher Alexis Miller was able to limit the Golden Wolves to that only run of the inning and escaped further damage. The Bears did not get their first hit of the contest until senior Julia Eckels roped a two-out single to left field to give Ursinus a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sophomore Sara Sullivan drew a walk to lead off the inning and eventually advanced two bases off a wild pitch and passed ball. With runners on second and third and one out, first-year Sarah Dunn reached on an error by the Alvernia shortstop which also scored the Bears first run. The error set the stage for Eckels to give Ursinus the lead with her single. Miller retired 15-straight Golden Wolves batters into the sixth inning before a leadoff triple gave Alvernia a chance to potentially tie the game. However, Miller dug deep and retired the next three batters to strand the runner at third while keeping the Bears in front. Alvernia led the seventh inning off with a double to start a runner once again in scoring position with no outs. Miller worked her way out of potential trouble one last time to preserve the win for the Bears.



Just like in game one, Alvernia took the initial lead in the top half of the first inning with a two-run single. Senior Mackenzie Brennan and junior Ana Mefford led the bottom half of the first off with singles, and each stole a base. Sophomore Grace White snuck a single through the right side to score both runs and tie the game at two. Alvernia responded in the top half of the second with two more runs to take the lead back at 4-2. The Golden Wolves took advantage of an error and a pair of passed balls to set runners into scoring position to come home on a single and a sacrifice fly. First-year Rachel Hartman cut the deficit down to 4-3 in the bottom half of the third inning with a triple to right center. First-year pitcher Stephanie Wichman relived Bears starter Kayla McTamney in the third inning and struck out the first six batters she faced before surrendering a run in the top of the fifth off a two-out double to leave the score at 5-3. Ursinus grabbed a run back in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Madison Wilson delivered a two-out single to score classmate Sarah DiLello, who pinch ran and advanced to third base. The Bears put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the sixth before an attempted double steal took out the lead runner at third. After a fly ball ended the threat in the sixth, the Bears had one last chance to tie the game in the seventh after advancing a runner to second base. Unfortunately for the Bears, back-to-back strikeouts concluded the game.


Eckels went a combined 4-of-5 from the plate with one RBI between the two games behind going a perfect 3-of-3 in game two. Miller allowed just one earned run on three hits in her seven innings of work and struck out a career-high eight batters. Wichman gave up just one run on three hits and struck out eight batters as well in her five innings of work coming out of the bullpen.


The Bears return to action on Saturday, April 16th as they will travel to face Washington College for a Centennial Conference doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.