The Webster University softball team improved to 10-0, its best start to a season since 2000, with a two-game sweep on its first day in Clermont, FL, on March 10. The Gorloks had back to back eight-inning wins over Nebraska Wesleyan University, 5-3, and Millikin University (IL), 2-1. Webster had complete game pitching performances by Chelsea Thornley and Morgan Mansur.
In the game one win over Nebraska Wesleyan, the contest was scoreless until the Gorloks broke through in the fifth with three runs. With one out, Karissa Cardenas (SR, Henderson, CO/Prairie View) singled and Emily Kolisch (SR, St. Louis, MO/Incarnate Word Academy) reached on an error, with Cardenas advancing to second. Taylor White (FR, St. Charles, MO/Lutheran St. Charles) reached on an error to load the bases. Katelyn Johnson (SR, Cambridge, IL/Woodstock) doubled to clear the bases, giving Webster a 3-0 lead.
Webster starter Chelsea Thornlely (JR, Clinton, MO/Clinton) had thrown five shutout innings when the Prairie Wolves reached her for an unearned run in the sixth. Nebraska Wesleyan would then tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. A walk and a double scored one, and a throwing error after a force at first allowed the tying run to score and send the game into extra innings.
Johnson was placed on second to start the eighth and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Kate Sullens (SR, Highland, IL/Highland). Abby Burroughs (FR, Edwardsville, IL/Triad) grounded out, scoring Johnson. Kayla Day (SR, Caruthers, CA/Caruthers) followed with a single and Terri Dearth (JR, Lemont, IL/Mt. Assisi Academy) doubled Day home for a 5-3 lead.
With the runner placed at second in their half of the eighth, the Prairie Wolves threatened immediately when a Gorlok error put runners at first and third with no one down. Thornley got a pop out to catcher Burroughs, then on a liner back to her, doubled off the runner at first to end the game.
Thornley went eight innings, allowed seven hits, two walks,and two earned runs. She struck out three while improving to 5-0 on the season. Johnson was the hitting star, going 1-4 with a double, three RBIs, and a run scored. Dearth was 1-4 with a double and RBI, and Day was 2-4.
Morgan Mansur (JR, Decatur, IL/Mt. Zion) started game two vs. Millikin for Webster. Sidney Coleman (SR, Fredericksburg, VA/Fountain-Ft. Carson) was hit by a pitch in the third, and Cardenas singled into left. Garza singled into left to score Coleman for a 1-0 lead.
The Big Blue got on the scoreboard with an unearned run off Mansur in the fifth. A single, Gorlok error, and a walk loaded the bases. A two-out walk sent home the tying run to make it, 1-1.
After seven innings, Mansur had scattered six hits and three walks, and allowed just the one unearned run, but the potent Gorlok offense had been limited to six hits and the lone run. Webster had a chance to score in the bottom of the seventh, but Kolisch was thrown out at home on a two-out single by Johnson to send the game to extra-innings.
The Gorloks dodged a bullet in the Big Blue eighth when, after their runner was placed at second, the first batter singled, putting runners at first and third. Webster catcher Burroughs gunned down the runner at first trying to steal second, while holding the runner at third. A short fly to center and a grounder back to the mound held Millikin scoreless.
Kolisch was placed at second for Webster and Burroughs singled her to third. After Coleman grounded out with the runners holding, Cardenas hit a grounder to second that was misplayed as Kolisch scored the game winner.
For the second straight game the Gorloks had an eight-inning complete game pitching performance. Mansur picked up the complete game win, improving to 4-0. She allowed no earned runs, seven hits and three walks.
Cardenas was 2-4 with an RBI, and Johnson was 2-4 with a double.
Webster's 10-0 start is its best since the team opened at 21-0 in 2000. Nebraska Wesleyan, a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, fell to 10-5 and Millikin, a member of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, is 2-2.
STORY COURTESY OF WEBSTER UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION