Two of the top teams in GPAC softball played a remarkable doubleheader on Sunday (Apr. 3) afternoon at University Place Park in Lincoln, Neb., with Nebraska Wesleyan coming out on top over conference favorite Morningside in both games. NWU won a classic pitcher's dual, 1-0, in the opening game, the rallied from six runs down to earn a 7-6 win in the nightcap.
Nebraska Wesleyan improves to 17-3 overall, 5-3 in the GPAC on the season and the doubleheader sweep gave head coach Lance Kingery his 200th career wins. He becomes just the fourth NWU coach in any sport to amass 200 career wins.
Marcia Kennedy hit an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning of game one to put the Prairie Wolves ahead 1-0. That is all they would need as junior pitcher Brenna Maguire pitched a gem on the mound. Maguire shut down the high-powered Mustang offense holding them to just three hits while striking out nine. She improved to 7-1 on the season.
Game two did not start out as well for the Prairie Wolves. On the first pitch of the second game, Erin Bohlmann hit a home run over the center field wall. The Mustangs would score four runs in the top of the first to go ahead 4-0. They added two more in the top of the third and led 6-0 seemingly in complete command.
In the bottom of the fourth, NWU began their rally. The Prairie Wolves strung together three straight singles as Melissa Blomstedt, Heather Stang and Kayla Randel all had RBI hits. The biggest hit of the inning was a two-run double by Megan Beckstead to pull NWU within one at 6-5.
Lauren Bodfield led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and scored on an errant relay throw to tie the game.
With the game still tied in the seventh, Marcia Kennedy and Bodfield had back-to-back singles with one out. Kennedy moved to third on a fielder's choice to bring up freshman Becky Bomberger with two outs. Bomberger hit a ground ball to the deep hole at shortstop and beat out the throw at first to allow Kennedy to score and the Prairie Wolves to complete the sweep.
Alysia Wittmaack came in to pitch the final six innings in relief to pick up her first win of the season. She allowed seven hits and two earned runs with four strikouts.
Kennedy, Bodfield and Dani Bryant all had two hits in the game.
NWU won five of six games played over the weekend and now is back among the leaders in the GPAC standings.