Softball sweeps Saint Louis at home

Media Credit: Graeme Sloan | Contributing Photo Editor

Sophomore pitcher Kaitlin Buff throws the ball during game one of Saturday's doubleheader against Saint Louis.

Softball dominated its weekend series against Saint Louis to climb up to the top half of the conference standings.

The Colonials (30–11, 6–3 A-10) were red-hot at the plate, scoring 28 runs across three games against Saint Louis (9–24, 4–6 A-10). GW opened the weekend with a doubleheader Saturday running past the Billikens 7–0 and 9–1 before knocking in 12 runs to close out the series with a 12–4 win.

At the plate, junior utility Jenna Cone set a program record in career runs batted in while junior utility Jessica Linquist extended her hit streak to 28 games, a program best. Sophomore utility Sierra Lange started all three games for the Colonials and threw 15 strikeouts while allowing just five earned runs toeing the rubber for the Colonials.

“Our girls were outstanding all around, we played three really complete games,” head coach Shane Winkler said. “We had great pitching in the circle from Sierra Lange and Kaitlin Buff, then offensively we exploded all weekend.”

Game one

The Colonials held the Billikens scoreless through all seven innings en route to a 7–0 win in the opening game of the series Saturday.

Lange and junior pitcher Kaitlin Buff held Saint Louis to just three hits in the game, with Lange playing through the first four frames before Buff took over to close out the match.

In the third inning, Cone launched a two-run home run to dead center field, knocking in her 172nd career RBI – a new program record – and sending two runners over the plate to put GW up 2–0.

“I love that our whole team is doing really well,” Cone said. “It’s super exciting that all of us are coming together and it’s super awesome to watch.”

Cone’s homer was soon followed by a shot to left field by sophomore infielder Alessandra Ponce that doubled GW’s lead, 4–0.

An error from Billikens’ freshman outfielder Gabbie Kowalik allowed two more runs to come home in the fourth inning, and an RBI single from Linquist in the sixth wrapped up the win for the Colonials.

Game two

GW found even more success in the batter’s box in the second game of the day Saturday, with the Colonials recording a 9–1 win that ended in the fifth inning due to the run rule.

Seven different Colonials recorded a hit and an RBI in the game. Lange again started and threw a complete game, allowing just two hits and adding three strikeouts in five innings of work.

“Every single player in the lineup is ready to hit the ball and can do awesome things,” Linquist said. “Every player can have extra base hits.”

Cone set the tone early, extending her program record with a solo home run to left-center in the first inning. The Colonials tacked on another run in the home half of the third inning to grow their lead 2–0.

For the Billikens, a home run by sophomore infielder Sadie Wise in the third inning was the only offense they could muster in the game.

The game got away from the Billikens in the bottom of the fourth inning when Saint Louis relinquished three more runs to the Colonials.

An RBI single from sophomore outfielder Sidney Bloomfield in the bottom of the fifth put the Colonials ahead 9–1 and triggered an early stoppage of play to close out Saturday.

Game three

GW’s hitting reached a crescendo in the final match of the series, clubbing 14 hits in a 12–4 win. The Colonials plated seven runs before the Billikens were able to get onto the scoreboard.

Linquist kicked off the game with a double off the wall in left-center field in the bottom of the first inning to extend her hit streak to a program-record 28 games. Cone drew a walk before Lange drilled a double off the center field wall to score Linquist and give GW an early 1–0 advantage.

In the second inning, Linquist continued her strong form. After falling behind in the count 0–2, she lifted a pitch from junior pitcher Kaylea Chappelle just over the left field wall for a 2–0 Colonials lead.

GW piled on the pressure in the third inning, recording five more runs in the frame. A double from Ponce into right-center field scored two runners and chased Chappelle from the game. Ponce scored on a single from freshman catcher Morgan Kummer to put the Colonials in front 5–0. A single from Lange brought senior infielder Riley Tejcek in for a 7–0 lead entering the fourth inning.

Ahead 7–1, the Colonials were relentless in the bottom of the fourth. After six hits, two wild pitches and an error, GW tallied five more runs and led 12–1 entering the fifth inning.

Despite surrendering three runs, including a two-run home run to Kowalik, Lange struck out the last two batters she faced to end the game in the top of the fifth inning. She struck out eight Billikens in her five innings of work.

“If we play like we played today, we’ll be fine throughout conference,” Linquist said. “We’re going to take down so many teams.”

The Colonials are back in action for a three-game series against Massachusetts Saturday. First pitch is set for noon.

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