KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Wheaton College softball team split its first two contests of the season this afternoon at the 2011 Spring Rebel Games. Junior hurler Lesley Warn (Portland, Maine) tossed a six-hit, complete-game victory to help lead the Lyons past Westminster College, 1-0. Wheaton suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Anderson University earlier in the afternoon.
Warn was masterful in her first start of the season, retiring the first six of the eight batters she faced. The Portland, Maine product set down the first five batters before yielding a pair of walks. Warn quickly settled down to induce a pop up to strand the Titans (0-1) in scoring position.
The Lyons (1-1) cracked the scoring column in the bottom of the second frame, when senior catcher Nicole DeRosa (Greenwich, Conn.) led off the inning with a single to center field. Wheaton generated its first scoring opportunity of the afternoon by sacrificing DeRosa over to second with a bunt. Sophomore first baseman Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass.) gave the Lyons' an advantage they would not relinquish with a two-out single to center field.
Warn was able to escape her only trouble of the contest in the fourth frame. Westminster pitcher Lis Schulz registered the visitors first hit of the afternoon with a double into left field. The Titans used a sacrifice bunt to place their lone runner on third base. Warn was able to get out of the jam by getting designated player Katie Hughes to pop out to third.
Wheaton nearly increased its lead in the bottom half of the inning, when DeRosa singled through the right side of the diamond. The Lyons pushed DeRosa into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and senior third baseman Kristen Hunt (Milford, Conn.) followed with a single to left field to put runners at the corners. Schulz was able to get out the jam unscathed as Roy lifted a deep fly to center field.
Westminster would not go quietly in its final at-bat. Catcher Leah Badolato led the inning off with a single to left field, but freshman Alanna Monahan (Dorchester, Mass.) unleashed a frozen rope from the fence to cut down the potential tying run at second. Warn set down two of her final three batters to seal the shutout victory.
Earlier in the afternoon, Wheaton was unable to solve Ravens' ace Monica Crowe as the right-hander limited the Lyons' to just three hits. Junior center fielder Amanda Poplaski (North Reading, Mass.) drew a one-out walk in the top of the first. Poplaski sandwiched a pair of stolen bases between a strike out to reach third base. Crowe extinguished the threat with her second punch out of the frame.
Anderson was able to capitalize on a Wheaton defensive miscue to plate its first run of the contest. First baseman Megan Kruse laced a two-out single that was misplayed by a Lyon outfielder and allowed a Raven runner to score from first. Third baseman Katy Ogden delivered a RBI double to center field to give Anderson a 2-0 advantage.
The Ravens tacted on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth frame, when centerfielder Katie Lee singled down the left field line. Crowe was able to make the Anderson advantage stand up by retiring seven-straight and 11 of her final 12 hitters.
In the pitching circle, freshman Allison Baker (Orange, Conn.) turned in a solid performance in her collegiate debut. The native of Orange, Conn. allowed three runs on seven hits, while striking out six. Her counterpart struck out 10 en route to her complete-game victory.
Wheaton returns to the diamond at 9 a.m. on March 13, when the Lyons square off against Dubuque University. Approximately two hours later, Wheaton will face Centenary (N.J.).