At a Glance
This week's SLIAC Game of the Week is the conference softball doubleheader between Iowa Wesleyan University and Blackburn College. Both teams start the week fighting for their first conference wins in 2018 and will meet on Saturday in Carlinville, Illinois with the first pitch set for 12 p.m.
Blackburn College 'BEAVERS'
Blackburn begins the week with a 9-8 overall record and a 0-2 SLIAC record. After having doubleheaders against Spalding and Webster postponed due to weather the Beavers will be anxious to get back on the field for the first time since March 21. They are set to face Principia on Friday before hosting the Tigers on Saturday.
The Beavers are hitting .314 as a team, 2nd best in the league, and average 6.1 runs per game. They have hit a conference-best 17 home runs and are first in doubles and hits. Their pitching staff ranks 5th in the league with a 5.00 earned-run average.
Hannah Goett powers the lineup, hitting .421 with a SLIAC high 7 home runs while driving in 20. Baylee Hughes is hitting .407 with a team-high 8 stolen bases to go with a .462 on-base percentage. Brooke Daniels and Daniele Burnell are tied for second on the team with 13 runs batted in. Daniels is also relied on in the circle, leading the team with 43 innings pitched.
Iowa Wesleyan University 'TIGERS'
Iowa Wesleyan struggled in two road trips to start the season, playing in Florida and Indiana. The Tigers opened up SLIAC play with a doubleheader against Fontbonne and then had a series against St. Louis College of Pharmacy postponed. The Tigers are scheduled to host MacMurray on Wednesday before heading to Blackburn.
Iowa Wesleyan has had a difficult time scoring runs this year, averaging just 2.1 runs per game while hitting .207 as a team. They do like to play small ball, ranking 4th in the league in sacrifice flies and adding three more sacrifice bunts.
Serena Almodovar leads the team with a .297 average and is one of two players with multiple doubles this season; Sydnee Stalker also had two doubles while being tied for the team lead with four runs batted in. Jena Miller is hitting .286 with 4 RBI and three runs scored. Leadoff hitter Ashley Machholz is second on the team with a .286 average and leads the team with five walks and three stolen bases. Samantha McIlwain has started five games for the Tigers, working 30 innings and recording 26 strikeouts. Julie Dodd is second on the team in innings pitched.
Last Time They Met
- Iowa Wesleyan is a perfect 8-0 all-time against Blackburn since joining the SLIAC including sweeping last year's series by a combined score of 18-2.
- Blackburn's Hannah Goett leads the conference in hits (24), home runs (7), and runs batted in (20).
- Iowa Wesleyan is the only team in the SLIAC to have an undefeated record against a fellow conference member.
- Blackburn is one just two programs with two batters hitting above .400 this season. Goett is hitting .421 while Baylee Hughes is hitting .409.
- The Tigers Samantha McIlwain led the conference in strikeouts last season with 109 and currently ranks 5th this season.