March 28th, 2016

Bellarmine sweeps UIS

Adam Pruiett

Bellarmine University Assistant S.I.D

Bellarmine sweeps UIS
photo provided by the Bellarmine athletic department

The Bellarmine University softball team got a much needed doubleheader sweep today as the Knights took 8-0 and 2-1 wins over Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Illinois Springfield in action at Knights Field this afternoon.

In the opener, the Knights (16-18, 6-6 GLVC) got a combined two-hit shutout from pitchers Ally Foster and Madeline Kurtz, and the offense produced 11 hits and eight runs as Bellarmine "run-ruled" the Prairie Stars (9-21, 3-9 GLVC)  in six innings.

Again it was Foster leading the way for the Knights by going 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs.  A total of four different Knights recorded multi-hit games in the opener with Melissa Hammer, Erica Knollman and Kelly Ely also connected for two hits apiece.

Rachel Fox got the scoring started for Bellarmine in the bottom of the second when her single knocked in Knollman, who had doubled.

The Knights tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth when Fox again drove in Knollman after she had reached on an error then moved to third on a passed ball.

The Bellarmine offense extended the Knights' lead to 5-0 when it put three runs on the board in the fifth with the big blow being a 2-run, opposite field homer by right-handed hitting Foster.

Meanwhile, Foster was mowing down the Prairie Stars batters.  In her five innings of work, Foster didn't allow a runner past first base, surrendering just two hits while striking out nine.

Kurtz came on in relief of Foster in the top of the sixth and issued a walk on four straight pitches, but the freshman hurler settled down and recorded three straight outs.

Bellarmine put the game away in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three times on three hits with UIS failing to record a single out. The game-ending score came when Knollman came to the plate with the bases loaded and smacked a shot to the right field fence.  The hit would have gone for extra bases, but was officially just a single as the winning run scored as soon as Knollman reached first base safely.

Game two was a much tighter affair, with all three runs being generated by home runs.

The Knights got all the runs they needed in the first inning when Katie Stamper drilled a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left center for a two-run homer that drove in Megan Bretz, who had led off with a single.

With Kurtz in the circle for the Knights, the Prairie Stars never mounted a serious scoring threat in the first three innings.  However, Amanda Gosbeth got UIS on the board when she led off the top of the fourth inning with a towering home run to dead center field.  Unfazed by losing the shutout, Kurtz responded by retiring the next three batters in order.

Bellarmine threatened in the bottom of the fifth with runners at second and third with just one out, but the Prairie Stars got out of the jam unscathed with an infield pop-up followed by a lazy fly ball to right.

Foster came on to pitch in the top of the sixth, and the senior recorded the final six outs of the game to pick up her first save of the season while Kurtz earned her fourth win.

Stamper was the offensive leader in game two for the Knights, adding two more hits to her first inning home run to finish 3-for-3.  Bretz added two hits for the Knights, which managed just six as a team in the game.

The Knights return to action for a rare Tuesday afternoon affair as they host Southern Indiana in a doubleheader scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.


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