Softball continued its reign of terror over the Atlantic 10 on Saturday in a doubleheader sweep against the Saint Louis Billikens.
The first game of the pair saw junior pitcher Lauren Quense continue to step up in the absence of Rachel Gillen. She tossed a one-hit shutout, her second one of the season, and went the full seven innings to pick up the win. The Rams’ hitters faced off against Billikens lefty Brianna Lore, who entered the season as the career leader in starts and wins for Saint Louis, as well as third overall in ERA at 2.83. The Rams had her number on this day, knocking her out after only 3.2 innings of work, in which she gave three runs on nine hits.
This game saw the return of grad pitcher Rachel Gillen, who made a plate appearance for the first time in two weeks. Gillen sprained her thumb in a collision at first base last week and was held out of action. Her plate appearance made it seem as though she had never been gone, as she singled home junior infielder Amy Van Hoven to push the score to 2-0.
Freshman infielder Chelsea Skrepenak capped the Ram scoring in the fourth with her second homerun of the season. Quense needed no more help, as she was able to shut the Billikens down for the rest of the game. Van Hoven, freshman infielder Jessica Hughes and junior infielder Lindsay Mayer all had two hits in the game. Mayer continued her successful run after being named A-10 Player of the Week last week.
If some is good, more is better. The second game of the doubleheader was a five-inning affair in which the Rams scored 12 runs to Saint Louis’ one. Mayer got the nod for the second time this season, and she responded in a big way. After walking three in the first innings, Mayer settled down, giving up one unearned run on two hits.
The Ram offense had its pitchers’ backs early in the game, scoring two in the first, six in the second and four in the third. They managed to string together hit after hit, while also taking advantage of five Saint Louis errors. The game saw Van Hoven and Skrepenak both have two hits, as well as four separate Rams cross the plate twice apiece. The win gave Mayer her fifth victory on the season.
The Rams 13-game in-conference win streak was finally snapped on Sunday. Brianna Lore made her second start of the series and the lefty got her revenge on the Rams. Lore helped herself early in the game with an RBI single in the first, one of two runs in the inning. The Billikens put two more runs on the board in the fifth. Junior centerfielder Sydney Canessa attempted to make a sliding catch in deep right center field but bobbled it, allowing two more runs to score. Mayer replaced Quense in the sixth innings and gave up two runs of her own, including a moonshot home run that landed in the tennis courts. The Rams were unable to string together many hits, but did not fail to make contact. Everything that they managed to hit hard was usually hit right at the Billikens defense, whereas the opposite was true when the Rams were in the field. They only managed four hits on the game, two of which came in the final inning with two outs. The loss pushed Quense’s record to 12-7 for the season.
The Rams maintain their pole position in the A-10 with a 12-2 record in conference play. They will be headed on their final road trip of the year next week, starting with a doubleheader against Rhode Island on Saturday, April 23.