Springfield, Ill.~ The Bulldogs pulled in two hard fought wins from NCAA Division II Oakland City University (Ind.) on Sunday afternoon, inching them closer to that .500 mark on the season with a record of 17-20. Both the defensive and offensive efforts by BenU Springfield secured both victories.
BenU 5, OCU 4 (Game 1)
BenU Springfield struck first in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three runs on three hits. Katie Stapleton reached on an OCU infield error, Jennifer Jennings singling right behind her. Hannah Dudley moved the runners around on a sac-fly to score Stapleton. Shannon Stuart banged her first pitch a double to deep right-center to score Jennings. Monica DeVault added to the run total with a single of her own to score Stuart to go up 3-0. The Oaks scored twice to cut the lead to one, but the Bulldogs were able to answer with two of their own off singles by Sarah Worster and Gabbi Oldani. OCU cut the lead back to one in the top of the fourth and would load the bases on starter Abbie Watton. Kelley McMahon came in on relief and was lights out, sitting down three batters and allowing no runs on one hit through two and two-third innings of work.
Watton earned the W moving to 5-5, McMahon earning her first save (2-2) in game one.
BenU 4, OCU 3 (Game 2)
Shannon Stuart hit a solo shot over the left field fence, her first of the season, adding the insurance run for the Bulldogs second win of the day. It proved vital as OCU tacked on a run in the top of fifth, but could not keep the bats rolling in the loss. The Oaks went up 2-0 in the top of the first, but Kerri Beasley answered back with a single to score Stuart to get on the board. BenU Springfield answered again in the third on four Bulldog singles to add two more runs to take the lead. Stuart's HR solidified win number 17, a school record.
Stuart finished the outing hitting 4 for 7 (RBI, double, home run). Kerri Beasley added to her AMC-leading RBI total, hitting 3 for 5 with two more runs batted in. Nicole Ramirez's bunts could not be toppled, going 3 for 4 with two stolen bases.
Katie Stapleton grabbed the victory, throwing the full seven with three runs on three hits and eight K's. The Bulldogs take a short break before a three-day weekend, taking on Principia College (Ill.) and two AMC matchups in Stephens College (Mo.) and Columbia College (Mo.).