March 13, 2011

Baker stymies Cyclones, 2-1

KISSIMMEE, Fla.- Wheaton College freshman pitcher Allison Baker (Orange, Conn.) hurled a three-hit complete game to earn her first collegiate victory and lead the Wheaton College softball team to a 2-1 win against Centenary College (N.J.) this afternoon at the 2011 Spring Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Baker did not allow an earned run and matched her season-high with six strike outs.

Baker dominated the Cyclones' offensive attack throughout her outing, holding Centenary without a hit over the first six frames. The rookie right-hander retired 10 consecutive opponents during the middle frames and faced just two hitters over the minimum before entering the seventh.

Meanwhile, the Lyons (2-2) gave Baker some breathing room in the second frame. Senior catcher Nicole DeRosa (Greenwich, Conn.) led off the inning with a double to left center field and was pushed over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore first baseman Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass.) lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to give Wheaton an early 1-0 advantage.

The Lyons' manufactured an insurance run in the fourth with the use of some small ball. Senior third baseman Kristen Hunt (Milford, Conn.) laced a double to left field to start the frame. Wheaton executed back-to-back bunts to plate its second and final run of the contest. Freshman shortstop Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass.) placed a bunt in between the catcher and pitcher to force a tardy throw at the plate.

The Cyclones finally were able to solve Baker in the seventh. Senior starting pitcher Sarah Olsen (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) tried to help out her cause with a lead-off double. Baker was able to get the next hitter to pop-up, but a defensive error in the Lyons' outfield put runners at the corners with just one out. Centenary loaded the bases with an infield bunt. Cyclone senior designated player Kristin Durborow (Manahawkin, N.J.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to cut their deficit to one. Unfazed by the spiraling events, Baker induced a ground ball back to the pitching circle to seal the victory and extinguish any thoughts of a Centenary rally.

Senior designated player Katy Salka (Ayer, Mass.) and Hunt each recorded two hits to pace the Lyons' attack. Hunt was perfect from the plate with a hit in each of her two appearances, while Salka went 2-for-3.

In the pitching circle, Oslen was the hard-luck loser. The senior allowed two runs on six hits, while striking out three and issuing one walk.

Wheaton returns to the diamond on March 14 with a pair of contests. The Lyons will square off against Montclair State University in the opener at 3 p.m., while facing Geneva College (Pa.) approximately two hours later.

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