Foresters Take Three of Five at MWC Classic

The Lake Forest College softball team defeated Carroll University 12-5, Lawrence University 14-5, and Beloit College 8-3 on Saturday at the Midwest Conference Classic. However, the Foresters were defeated 11-3 by Ripon College and 5-0 by St. Norbert College on Sunday. Junior Leslie Harshey and sophomore Aubrey Pendegraft combined for 21 base hits and 16 RBI on the weekend.

Pendegraft started strong with her first career four-hit game against Carroll. She doubled in a run in the first inning, had an RBI-single in the second, and belted a two-run homer in the fourth. She also scored a pair of runs, as did freshmen Sam Ritsema, Clare Kavanagh, and Mindy Runge. Kavanagh and sophomore Ashley Cuthbert drove in two runs apiece while sophomore Nikki Miller finished the game with three base hits and Harshey two.

Carroll actually took the early lead with two runs in the top of the first inning and the Foresters responded with one in the bottom of the frame. Lake Forest then scored five times in the second inning and three in both the fourth and fifth. The Lady Pioneers scored once in the third and twice in the fifth.

Forester junior Cami Daun pitched the first five innings and picked up the victory. Sophomore Molly Thomsen then tossed two scoreless innings of relief to close out the contest.

Thomsen was the starter against Lawrence and matched a career-high with five strikeouts in just four-and-a-third innings. She earned the victory and sophomore Kelly Chesnut notched her first save of the season by recording the final eight outs, including four by strikeout.

Lawrence led 3-2 after the first inning and extended its lead with two in the bottom of the second. The Foresters then plated a pair of runs in the third inning, tied the game at five in the fourth, took the lead with a two-run fifth, and put the game out of reach with seven in the seventh.

Harshey was 4-for-5 with a triple and a career-high five runs batted. Pendegraft had three base hits, including her team-high-tying fourth home run of the year, in five at-bats and drove in four for the second game in a row. Junior Danielle Gore and Cuthbert also had three hits and Kavanagh and Gore scored three times each. Runge belted her first career home run and drove in two in the contest. Lake Forest's 19 hits in the game were a season-high and their 30 total bases are the fifth-highest single-game total in program history.

Ritsema, Harshey, and Kavanagh each had two of the Foresters' seven hits against Beloit and the teams combined for 17 singles without an extra-base hit in the contest. Lake Forest trailed 2-0 after two innings but scored one in the third and four in the fourth. After the Buccaneers plated what turned out to be their final run of the contest in the bottom of the fifth, Lake Forest extended its lead with two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh.

Kavanagh scored three times in the game and Harshey twice. Gore drove in a pair of runs without a base hit.

Daun pitched the first three innings and Chesnut earned the victory by surrendering just one unearned run in four innings of relief.

Ripon led 8-0 before Lake Forest got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning on Sunday. The Foresters scored once in the fifth but surrendered three Red Hawk tallied in the sixth. Lake Forest's final run in the bottom of the sixth was not enough to extend the contest to a seventh inning.

Harshey and Pendegraft were each 2-for-3 in the game. Both of Pendegrafts hits were doubles and she leads the team with eight two-baggers this season. Harshey belted her second home run of the year in the fourth inning and singled in a run in the sixth for her team-high 18th RBI of the season.

Ritsema, Pendegraft, and Harshey accounted for the Foresters' three base hits against St. Norbert. The Green Knights scored three times in the top of the first inning and added a pair of insurance runs in the fourth.

Harshey batted .579 (11-for-19) and Pendegraft .526 (10-for-19) with a 1.053 slugging percentage on the weekend. Both hitters drove in eight runs. Ritsema and Cuthbert each hit .400 and Miller .375. Kavanagh drew six walks and scored a team-high eight runs in the five games combined.

Thomsen and Daun were each 1-1 and Chesnut 1-0 on the weekend. Chesnut did not allow an earned run in six-and-two-thirds innings and Thomsen posted a 2.68 ERA.

Monmouth College won all five of its MWC Classic games and both Ripon and St. Norbert were 4-1. Carroll and Lawrence joined Lake Forest with three victories apiece.

The Foresters will host a non-conference doubleheader against Elmhurst College Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 before resuming league play with a twinbill against Illinois College on Saturday and another against Monmouth on Sunday.

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