SOFT: IPFW Takes Two From Omaha

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW softball team won its fourth straight game, and its sixth time in the last seven games, by taking a pair of contests from Summit League foe Omaha by scores of 3-0 and 3-1 on Friday afternoon at the IPFW Softball Field.

The wins improve IPFW to 29-11 on the season and 8-2 in Summit League play.

The Mastodon pitchers were dominant in the game, holding the Mavericks to just 8-of-53 hitting at the plate (.151 batting average), with the IPFW pitching staff striking out 20 batters and allowing just one run.

Larissa Franklin was 4-of-7 at the plate in the two games, while Beka Ferguson was 2-for-5 with Ashleigh and Alex Bousquet each going 2-for-6.

The opening game started as a pitcher’s duel between two of the top pitchers in the Summit League – Omaha’s Dana Elsasser and IPFW’s Miranda Kramer – as neither pitcher allowed a run through the first two innings of the game.

After a third consecutive scoreless inning by Kramer, the Mastodons put together a rally that started with Ferguson getting hit by pitch, before getting pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt from Prestlee Cooper. Hanson was also hit by pitch to put two runners on base before Alex Bousquet hit a three-run home run, putting the Mastodons ahead and plating all of the game’s runs in one swing.

IPFW managed just two more hits in the rest of the game, but the offensive output from the home run was more than enough to support Kramer, who scattered three hits in the entire game, striking out 15 – the second most in a game in her career.

Kramer’s win improved her to 15-7 on the season, and with her 10th shutout she climbs into seventh in Summit League career history. Her strikeout total – 655 through two-plus seasons – moves her into the top-five all-time in Summit League history, passing Kristina Brooks who played for Southern Utah from 2007-10.

Franklin was 2-for-3 in the game, while Cooper and Alex Bousquet had the team’s other two hits in the contest.

The Mastodons did not waste time in the afternoon finale in getting to Omaha starting pitcher Kat Barrow, as  Ashleigh Bousquet singled home Larissa Franklin, putting IPFW ahead 1-0 after one full inning.

Two innings later the Mastodons added to their lead with a two-run home from Hillary Kartman – her third home run in the last three games – chasing home herself and Ashleigh Bousquet.

As in the opener, the three runs would be more than enough to support IPFW starting pitcher Megan Flenniken, who held the high-powered Omaha offense off balance until the seventh inning when the Mavericks started a two-run rally with a bunt single, before a double cut the gap to 3-1. An infield single put runners on the corners; however, a foul-out to left fielder Cooper closed the door on the afternoon, giving the Mastodons a sweep of the day.

Ferguson was 2-for-3 at the plate, while Franklin and Ashleigh Bousquet were each 2-for-4. Kartman drove home two, as each of the team’s three runs were scored by different batters.

Flenniken, now 14-4 on the year, struck out five while scattering five hits and giving up the solitary run in the top of the seventh inning.

The two teams return to the IPFW Softball Field for the third and final game of the three-game series, with first pitch set for 11 a.m.

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