"I try to take the same approach, I just think about hitting the ball hard, and to get things going, and to put the ball in play, when my teammates are on base,”
Courtesy of WSU Athletics

Wayne State’s softball team (17-8 overall, 2-2 GLIAC) swept Davenport (19-10 overall, 4-4 GLIAC) by scores of 4-2, and 8-0, on March 29 at Gary Bryce Field.

Game one got off to a shaky start for the Warriors, as the Panthers scored an unearned run off Pitcher Megan Guitar to grab the lead early on. The Warriors would respond in the bottom of the third with a leadoff single by freshman Rose Myers, followed a wild pitch and an error that advanced Myers to third. Freshman Rainey Psenicka drove Myers home with a ground ball that went through the legs of the second baseman for the Panthers.

With two outs, freshman Bryanna Kressler hit a double, scoring Psenicka, and junior Hannah McClounie drove in Kressler to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, the Warriors got the insurance run on a two-out double by Megan Guitar, followed by an RBI single by junior catcher Ashley Messina.

In the top of the seventh, the Panthers showed that they would not go down without a fight, scoring a run to chip the Warriors lead to two runs. The game ended on a high note, and a nerve racking one as well, when Kressler made a catch at the base of the wall, securing the 4-2 Warriors win in game one.

On the mound, Guitar threw seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Guitar improved her record to 11-4 on the season.

Warriors Head Coach Gary Bryce, who coached in his 1,999 game at WSU, commented on his teams’ approach against Davenport’s top pitcher, Mallory Teunissen.

“We knew that she doesn’t walk a lot of players, so we wanted to attack the first good pitch she gave us,” said Bryce.

In game two, the Warriors got off to a hot start in the bottom of the second inning, as they scored three runs. McClounie tripled, then scored on a two-out single by Messina. Sophomore, Emma Adams then doubled to bring home Messina and senior Kylee Barrett to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead.

Freshman Presly Buchanan pitched the second game, shutting out the Panthers on three hits.

“Presly [Buchanan] looked great, she had all of her pitches working,” said Messina.

Bryce said he’s  happy for Buchanan, who has missed the last few weeks with a concussion.

“She took a blow to the head, and got a concussion and has been out for a few weeks, and before she got hit, we thought she might be our number one pitcher,” said Bryce.

In the bottom of the third, the Warriors put the nail in the coffin with  back-to back two-out doubles by sophomore Brooke Turkalj and Kressler to give the Warriors a 5-0 lead. The Warriors ended the game in the bottom of the sixth, with three runs, caped off by a Turkalj two-out, two-run single,followed by a Kressler RBI single scoring Turkalj.

The Warriors were led by Messina’s three RBI’s at the plate, and after leaving many runners stranded in scoring position last weekend against Tiffin, those RBI’s came at the perfect time. Messina commented on her approach at the plate.

“I try to take the same approach, I just think about hitting the ball hard, and to get things going, and to put the ball in play, when my teammates are on base,” said Messina.

The Warriors will host Purdue Northwest University for the first time as a GLIAC foe on March 30.

Messina said she is looking to keep the positive momentum going.

“I think we need to keep the same confidence at the plate that we did today.  I think it will be a good team to compete against,” said Messina.

The double header is slated for a 2:30 p.m. start at Bryce Field.

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