WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The Wheaton College softball team improved its record to 6-2 and win streak to six straight games with a pair of victories on Wednesday afternoon at DiamondPlex in Winter Haven, Florida. In the first game of the day, the Lyons defeated Coe College by a score of 4-3 and in the back half of the doubleheader the Blue and White beat No. 6 Illinois Wesleyan, 3-1.
Wheaton 4, Coe 3
First-year Allison Cox (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) registered her first career win as she allowed two earned runs, five hits and struck out a pair in 4 1/3 innings in relief earlier this morning. Sophomore first baseman Morgan Walsh (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) went 3-for-3, scored a run and tallied an RBI from the cleanup spot, while classmate Emily Bouthillette (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and senior Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) each produced a double and an RBI for the Blue and White.
The game was scoreless until the top of the third inning when Kohawks sophomore Haley Smith (LeClaire, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) crossed the plate as a result of a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead.
Wheaton responded in the bottom half of the inning scoring all four of its runs on the day in the frame.
Bouthillette knocked a single to left field to plate junior Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and sophomore Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) for a 2-1 advantage. Walsh then gave the Blue and White a 3-1 lead in the very next at bat with a single to center field that scored Bouthillette from second base, while Walsh came around to score the Lyons' fourth run on a double hit to left center by Berardi, capping the rally.
In the seventh inning, Coe attempted to make a comeback with a pair of runs to cut the deficit to 4-3. The Kohawks started their come-from-behind effort with three-straight singles before Cox induced a pop out to give the Lyons a chance at a force out at any base on the diamond. Sophomore Mallah Fligg (Tiffin, Iowa/Clear Creak-Amana) followed with a two-run single, but Cox was able to get the final batter out on a foul out to first base to hold on to the 4-3 victory.
Wheaton 3, No. 6 Illinois Wesleyan 1
Berardi keyed Wheaton's victory against No. 6 Illinois Wesleyan in game two of the day highlighted by her complete game effort in the circle. Berardi scattered seven hits and gave up just one earned run to improve her record to 3-1 this season. Offensively, Berardi gave the Lyons an early 2-0 lead on a double to right center field that plated Bouthillette and junior Madeline Hatch (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) in the top of the first inning.
Lyons junior catcher Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill./Fenton) doubled to right center field in the top of the sixth inning to score sophomore Caroline Fairbanks (Milford, Mass./Milford) and also give Wheaton a 3-0 advantage.
After a double steal by Illinois Wesleyan's Laura Bonds (Decatur, Ill/Warrensburg-Latham) and senior Hannah Bowen (Farmer City, Ill./St. Joseph-Ogden) in the bottom half of the sixth, junior Danielle Smith (Marquette Heights, Ill./Pekin Community) grounded out to second base to drive in Bowen for the Titans only run of the game. Berardi finished off the seventh with a fly out to left, fielder's choice and a pop up to first base to complete the doubleheader sweep for the Blue and White.
Wheaton (6-2) closes out its Florida trip tomorrow morning with games against Husson University at 10:00 a.m. and Farmingdale State at 12:15 p.m.