FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Playing in its first true home games of the 2014 season, the IPFW softball team split a doubleheader with the South Dakota Coyotes, falling in the opener 5-2 before rebounding for a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
The Mastodons had their first official home games last weekend, which were played at the Midwest Sports Complex in Indianapolis; however, these two games are the first on IPFW’s campus this season.
The split takes IPFW’s record to 23-8 on the year, and 4-1 in Summit League play. The two teams are scheduled to meet on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. back at the IPFW Softball Field.
Beka Ferguson was 3-for-5 on the day for IPFW, as Kayti Hanson was 3-for-6, and Dani Pugh 3-for-7. Alex Bousquet scored twice, while Audrey Mintari drove in three with Pugh chasing home a pair.
In the opener, the Mastodons struck first in the bottom of the third inning when leadoff hitter Alex Bousquet homered to left field, sending IPFW to a quick 1-0 lead. A South Dakota solo home run from Matley Jones knotted the score at one, before Pugh hit her sixth home run of the season an inning later.
The two solo home runs put IPFW ahead by a 2-1 score, which remained until the top of the sixth inning when the visitors poured in four runs on back-to-back hits. The first runs came via a two-run single from Christine Broders, which was followed by a Katie Cochran two-run triple, giving the game its 5-2 final score.
The Mastodons were only able to scare together one baserunner in their last two attempts at the plate, as the Coyotes held on for the three-run victory.
Ferguson was 2-for-2 in the game for IPFW, as the Mastodons out-hit the Coyotes 8-to-6. Miranda Kramer picked up the loss in the circle, going the entire seven innings, striking out nine and giving up five earned runs and six hits in the losing effort.
IPFW never trailed in the second game, as IPFW quickly jumped out on top in the bottom of the first inning when Dani Pugh singled to center field, scoring Alex Bousquet, who dove over a waiting catcher, and was able to touch home plate before being tagged out. While the mad scramble at home plate was happening, Larissa Franklin – who reached a batter earlier with an infield single – advanced to third base. Pugh, seeing an open base ahead of her, took off for second, and forced a throw from the Coyote catcher to the waiting second baseman. The throw to second gave Franklin a chance to take off for home, and the junior beat the return throw home, as the aforementioned return throw sailed to the backstop, allowing Pugh to advance to third base.
South Dakota’s second solo home run of the day cut the lead in half when Broders smacked a two-ball, one-strike pitch over the left-center field wall in the top of the third inning; however, Audrey Mintari followed in the next half inning with a two-run double scoring Ashleigh Bousquet and Hillary Kartman.
Mintari gave the Mastodons an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth with her second consecutive double, scoring Beka Ferguson who reached on a single two batters earlier.
Flenniken – now 11-3 on the season – did not give up a hit after the third inning and struck out a career-high 12 en route to tying a career high with her 11th win of the season. Flenniken walked just one, and her only run allowed was the solo home run in the third inning.
Pugh, Mintari, and Kayti Hanson were each 2-for-3 in the nightcap for the Mastodons, who had nine total hits in the game. Each of the five runs was scored by a different player, with three of the team’s four RBI’s coming from Mintari.
Saturday’s game between the two squads has been canceled.