Trojans Wrap Up Season Series with Goshen with Doubleheader Sweep
UPLAND, Ind. – Maddi Evans continued to make history, the bats continued to hum, and RV Taylor (32-12, 18-8 CL) secured a series sweep of Goshen (14-28, 4-22 CL) with a pair of victories at Gudakunst Field on Friday. The Trojans won the first contest, 10-2, in five innings, before recording a 5-3 triumph in the nightcap.
In four innings of work in the opener, Evans (15-3) pitched brilliantly, carrying a perfect game through three frames and allowing only two runs, one walk, and one hit, all of which came in the fourth inning. With her victory in the circle, the junior tied Hannah Klebsadel (2014) and teammate Lauren Kanai (2018) for the second most wins for a Trojan pitcher in a single season. The junior needs just three more wins to tie former Taylor standout Hannah Robbins, who collected 18 victories in the circle in both 2014 and 2017.
The Trojans, as a unit, put together another stout offensive performance, batting .409 (18-of-44) with 15 runs scored and four extra-base hits. Emma West went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and one run batted in, while Aleyah Rastetter continued to swing a red-hot bat, hitting her seventh home run of the season, a three-run bomb, in the opener.
Alexi Clay also had a strong day at the plate, batting 2-for-2 in a pair of pinch-hitting situations and driving in three runs, including two crucial insurance tallies in the fifth inning of game two. Additionally, Kara Tucker collected two hits and two RBI, while Evans, Kristin Mihalic, Ashton Whitman, and Taylor Wilson each recorded two knocks apiece.
Taylor did a majority of its damage in the second inning of game one, scoring seven of its 10 runs on five hits and one Goshen error. Whitman started the scoring by drawing a bases-loaded walk, before a Caitlyn Grim sacrifice fly to center, a West RBI single, and a Tucker sacrifice fly to right increased the Trojans’ advantage to 4-0. Rastetter followed with her fourth home run in her last five contests, giving the Trojans a 7-0 lead after two innings of play.
Goshen got two runs back in the top of the fourth frame, but the Trojans scored three more runs in the bottom half of the inning to secure the run-rule victory. Nicole Brindle and Mihalic scored on a Goshen fielding error, before Clay plated Wilson with an RBI single for the final tally.
The Maple Leafs scored the first run of the nightcap in the top of the first inning, but the Trojans took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. After Emma West singled to lead off the inning and stole her 25th base of the season, Tucker drove her home with a double to deep-right field, tying the game at 1-1. Mihalic later grounded into a double play, but scored Tucker from third base, giving Taylor the lead at 2-1.
Evans’ RBI double in the third inning increased the Trojans’ advantage to 3-1, but a Goshen home run in the top of the fifth made it a one-run contest. However, for the second straight game, Clay delivered. With two outs and runners on second and third in the fifth inning, the South Bend, Indiana native punched a single up the middle of the field, plating Evans and Wilson to give the Trojans some much-needed cushion.
The Maple Leafs were able to push one across in the seventh, but Cassy Lewis shut the door, recording her NAIA-leading ninth save for the Purple and Gold. The junior pitched two solid innings in relief, giving up just two hits while striking out two.
Kanai (13-6) put together a quality start for the Trojans, striking out seven batters, tied for her second-most punchouts in a single start this season, while giving up just four hits in five innings of work.
Additionally, with her stolen base in the nightcap, West is now tied with Alex Lovelace (2014) for the most stolen bases by a Trojan in a single campaign. The sophomore needs just one more swipe to become TU’s single season leader in stolen bases.
Taylor will head to Indianapolis tomorrow for a showdown with No. 12 Marian (35-11, 22-6 CL). Due to the incoming inclement weather, first pitch has been moved up to 10:00 am.