(Sugar Grove, IL.) – Waubonsee Community College's softball team rebounded from a frustrating game one loss to earn a split of their Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference doubleheader against Moraine Valley Community College. The Chiefs (18-13, 3-4) could not come up with a clutch hit in the opener as the Cyclones (12-22, 6-5) hung on to win 6-5. Waubonsee then took game two 9-4 behind the pitching and hitting of Katie Beebe.
In game one Waubonsee left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, a trend that unfortunately continued throughout the contest. The Chiefs eventually broke through first as Autumn Sullivan drilled a line shot, solo home run to left field in the third. However, the lead was short lived as Moraine Valley erupted for four runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Madi Davis led off with a single to right, the Cyclones' first hit of the game off of Beebe. Three batters later Karly Krown lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Davis and tie the game. Darci Nichols followed with a run-scoring double to right center field, and a bloop single to center by Morgan Moran put Moraine ahead 3-1. The fourth run of the inning scored a moment later on a ground out to first base.
Waubonsee got two of those runs back in the fifth as Megan White led off with an infield single along the third base line. Sullivan then flied out deep to left field before Beebe drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Moments later Jessica Wilson drove in White with a single to right, but was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw home. Beebe alertly scampered home on the throw down to second base to get the Chiefs within a run.
The Cyclones immediately responded scoring twice in the top of the sixth. After a Waubonsee throwing error, Jessica Coyle slapped a two-run single to right to make it 6-3 Cyclones. The Chiefs got those runs back in the bottom half of the inning and looked poised to go ahead. Tori Isom led off with a clean single to left field and moved up to second base on a ground out. The next batter Alyssa Eby blooped a single to center to put runners at first and third. White followed with a one-out, two-run double to right center to get the Chiefs within a run.
With the potential tying run at second and the Chiefs' power hitters coming up, Moraine Valley's Liz McCuan buckled down. After Sullivan drilled a pitch foul down the left field line, the right-handed McCuan got the Chiefs' hottest hitter to swing through a rise ball for strike three. A couple pitches later Beebe lined a shot down the right field line that barely landed foul. McCuan then escaped the jam by striking out Beebe on an outstanding change-up to end the inning.
Waubonsee then found themselves down to their last out in the bottom of the seventh. Alexandra Martin and Isom then both coaxed walks to put the potential tying run at second and the winning run at first. McCuan again rose to the challenge getting Anilise Bragg to hit a one-hopper right back to her for the final out. The Chiefs stranded 10 runners on base for the game, while out hitting the Cyclones 9-6. Beebe took the pitching loss to drop her record to 10-7 overall. She struck out three, walked three and scattered six hits over seven innings pitched. White and Maddie Kawall each had two hits to pace the Chiefs' offense, while Isom reached base four times. McCuan struck out seven, and overcame walking seven and allowing nine hits to earn the victory.
In game two Waubonsee again scored first as Eby smacked a two-run double to right center in the top of the second. The Chiefs then scored four times in the top of the fifth to appear to break the game open. White led off with a bloop single to center before Sullivan drew a walk. Beebe then laced a shot to center to score White and get the Chiefs going. Wilson followed with another line single to center to score Sullivan as Beebe raced to third. Kawall then grounded out to short with Beebe scoring on the play. Wilson never stopped after rounding second and scored when the throw from the Cyclones' first baseman sailed over third and out of play.
Leading 6-0 and seemingly in control of the game, Chiefs' starter Katy Shawke suddenly began to struggle. After retiring the first two batters of the fifth inning, Shawke surrendered a pair of singles and walked a batter to load the bases. Davis then drilled a two-run single to right field and Donna Booe followed with a two-run double to left to suddenly bring the potential tying run to the plate. Beebe came on in relief and promptly induced a soft ground out to second base to end the threat.
The momentum then swung back in Waubonsee's favor and the Chiefs took advantage. Eby led off the top of the sixth with a double to straight away center field. White walked before Sullivan grounded out to short to move the runners up to second and third. With first base open, the Cyclones elected to pitch to Beebe and she emphatically iced the game with one swing. On a 1-1 pitch from Mariah Martinez, the 6'0" freshman launched a tape-measure home run to dead centerfield, her fifth round-tripper of the season, to put Waubonsee in front 9-4.
Moraine Valley threatened in their half of the sixth inning getting runners to second and third with no one out. But again Beebe closed the door getting a pair of groundouts and a soft line out to strand the Cyclones' runners. In two and a third innings of relief the right-hander allowed no runs, a pair of hits and a walk to earn the save. Shawke got the win, her fourth of the season, striking out two, walking two and giving up five hits over four and two-thirds innings. Beebe finished 3 for 4 at the plate with a home run, two runs scored and four driven in. Eby also went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and two knocked in.
The Chiefs are next in action again tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17 when they host Sauk Valley Community College in a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m. For more information on Chiefs' Athletics, go on-line to www.GoChiefs.com