Lethal Offense Lifts RV Taylor to Pair of Wins over TIU in Home Opener
UPLAND, Ind. – Playing in the friendly confines of Gudakunst Field for the first time in the 2021 campaign, RV Taylor, the top hitting team in the Crossroads League, remained red-hot, recording its second straight doubleheader sweep with a pair of victories over Trinity International. A trio of three-run home runs by Lauren Kanai, Maddi Evans, and Ashton Whitman resulted in a run-rule, 15-6 triumph in game one, before a stellar performance from Kanai in the nightcap resulted in a 4-0 shutout victory.
Coming into the doubleheader with a League-leading 104 hits, the Trojans (10-4) added a plethora of knocks to that tally, recording 26 in the two-game series, nine of which went for extra bases. Emma West led the way in the hitting department, finishing five-for-eight in the leadoff spot, while Kanai, Evans, Whitman, Kara Tucker, and Caitlyn Grim each finished with three.
Evans was locked in at the plate in the opener, finishing three-for-three, scoring three runs, driving in five, and falling a triple short of the cycle. Her five runs batted in tied her with Kristin Mihalic for the team lead with 14. Whitman also put together one of her best offensive performances of the young season in the first game, hitting two-for-four with three runs scored and four RBI.
TIU (2-2) scored the first two runs in the opener with single tallies in the first and third innings, but the Trojans blew the game wide open in the bottom half of the third. After Evans opened the scoring for TU on a Trinity International error, Kanai crushed her third home run of the season to left field, giving the Trojans a 4-2 advantage. A Whitman RBI double brought home Taylor’s fifth run of the frame, before Evans’ three-run bomb increased Taylor’s lead to 8-2 after three innings of play.
Trinity International scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning and threatened to do even more damage, but Cassy Lewis recorded the final out of the frame to keep the Trojans’ lead intact. Lewis recorded her second save of the season, pitching a scoreless 1.1 innings and allowing just one hit.
Taylor walked off in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Whitman capped off the Trojans’ offensive explosion with her first long ball of the season.
Evans (5-1) recorded her fifth win of the campaign, striking out eight in 4.2 innings of work.
The Trojans scored all four of their runs in the first three innings of the nightcap, which would prove to be all they would need. West scored on a passed ball in the first inning, Lexi Abruzzo hit an RBI double and scored on an error in the second, and Nicole Brindle crossed home plate in the third inning on another TIU miscue.
Kanai (4-2) shined in her six innings of work in the circle, giving up just two hits and one walk while striking out six. Jessica Doctor also made her first appearance of the season, allowing one hit and striking out the final batter she faced to end the contest.
Taylor returns to Gudakunst Field on Saturday where it will face off against St. Mary-Of-The-Woods College (5-5) in a two-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm.