Webster University used solid pitching and three doubles from senior Morgan Mansur (Decatur, Ill./Lincoln Land CC) here Sunday afternoon to earn a doubleheader split over 15th-ranked Washington University in St. Louis in the 'Battle of Big Bend' at WashU Softball Field.
The 15th-ranked Bears, who were playing their first games of the season on Sunday, opened the doubleheader with a 5-1 win over the Gorloks, before Webster returned the favor in the nightcap, 5-0, to earn the split and also win its first game of the season. Webster opened its 2018 season on Saturday with 6-1 and 14-6 losses at Blackburn Park against the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Webster's win over WashU was the first for the program since earning a 7-2 victory over the Bears in the 2009 NCAA Regional Tournament in Indianola, Iowa.
In the nightcap victory over the Bears (1-1), the Gorloks scored four runs in the first inning to jump in front 4-0.
In the inning, freshman leftfielder Skiela Martinez (Whittier, Calif./California) struck out to lead off the frame, but reached first on a passed ball, senior catcher Terri Dearth (Lemont, Ill./Southwestern Illinois) would follow Martinez and hit a double to put runners and second and third and sophomore centerfielder Abby Burroughs (Edwardsville, Ill./Triad) would reach on a fielder's choice to load the bases.
Senior first baseman Tessa Johanning (Sullivan, Mo./Sullivan) would bring the first run on her sacrifice fly to left. Senior designated player Katlyn Garza (O'Fallon, Mo./Ft. Zumwalt North) would then reach on single and advanced to second on an error, which allowed Dearth to score the second run of the game. Sophomore shortstop Taylor White (St. Charles, Mo./Lutheran St. Charles) drew a walk to once again the load the bases and then junior third baseman Brienna Shepard (Central Point, Ore./College of the Redwoods) brought home the third run on her fielder's choice and Mansur would reach on a catcher's interference that allowed Webster's fourth run of the inning to score.
Leading 4-0, Webster turned to Mansur in the circle and is all the senior did was scatter five hits in her complete game shutout. Along with allowing just five hits, Mansur, who at one point retired 13 batters in a row between the third and seventh innings, struck one and didn't walk a batter to improve to 1-1 on the season.
In the sixth, the Gorloks had a scoring opportunity as Martinez reached on an error to lead off the frame, moved to second on a bunt by Dearth and advanced to third on a single by Burroughs. Johanning would reach on a fielder's choice, but Martinez was thrown at home on the play to leave the score 4-0.
Webster would add a fifth run in the seventh inning thanks to a Sheperd single, a double by Mansur and an RBI groundout by senior rightfielder Chelsea Thornley (Clinton, Mo./Clinton). The double was the third of the game for Mansur, which tied a single-game school record held by both Alana Hammons against Rose-Hulman on April 12, 2006 and Jessie Kuryla against Robert Morris on March 7, 2004.
Along with Mansur's three doubles, Garza and Dearth each picked up two hits in the win as Webster finished the nightcap with 10 hits.
Five different Bears recorded a hit in the game and only WashU player reached third base in the game as Amy Walsh led off the first with a single, stole second and moved to third on a bunt by Taylor Arends. Walsh would be stranded at third as Mansur forced the next to Bears to line out and ground out respectively.
Maggie Clapp (0-1) took the loss in the circle for the Bears as she threw six innings and allowed eight hits and four runs (two earned) while walking two and fanning three.
Meanwhile, in Sunday's opener, the Gorloks were held to two hits and scored its only run in the seventh inning as White drew a bases-loaded walk from Anna McKee (1-0).
Webster's two hits came from Burroughs and Thornley, who was the Gorloks starting pitcher in the opener. Burroughs' hit, which was a double, came in the first inning, while Thornley's hit was a single up the middle in the seventh inning.
The Bears opened the game with four hits and plated a run in the bottom of the first off of Thornley and then increased its lead to 4-0 in the second inning thanks to an RBI single by Hannah McCall and a two-run RBI single by Arends.
WashU added its fifth run in the bottom of the fifth inning as Julia Flores hit a two-out RBI double to make the score, 5-0.
While Webster had two hits in the opener, WashU recorded 10 hits, including two hits apiece from Clapp and Walsh. Those two combined to go 4-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored.
Thornley (0-2 on the year) took the loss in the circle for the Gorloks as she allowed 10 hits and five runs (three earned) in six innings of work. She also walked three and struck out two.
After committing nine errors in Saturday's doubleheader against UW-Platteville, the Gorloks had just one error each in Sunday's doubleheader.
McKee earned the win in the circle for the Bears as she allowed two hits and one earned run while walking eight and striking out four.
Webster will return to action on Wednesday, March 7 as they host Harris-Stowe State University in a 4 p.m. single game at Blackburn Park. The game was originally scheduled for last Thursday, but wet and unplayable field conditions forced the game to be postponed and rescheduled.
STORY COURTESY OF WEBSTER UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION