Sophomore shortstop Kat Beall drive in the winning run twice on Friday as the Lake Forest College softball team defeated Alma College 2-1 in eight innings and the University of St. Thomas 3-1 on the first day of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Leadoff Classic.
Beall's RBI-groundout in the top of the eighth inning against Alma scored sophomore outfielder Sydney Gardner from third base. Gardner was placed on second to start the inning and stole third three pitches before being driven in by Beall.
Alma bunted the runner from second to third to begin the bottom of the eighth but Forester senior pitcher Jessi Werner struck out the next hitter and induced a popup to end the game. Werner came on in relief of junior Jenny McTague with runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the sixth. The runner on third came home to tie the game at one but she escaped the inning with no further damage. McTague and Werner combined to allow just four base hits while striking out five batters and walking just one in the contest.
The Foresters had scored the game's first run in the top of the third inning. Freshman outfielder Maria Zepeda led off with a base hit and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gardner. Beall then singled to center field and Zepeda came home when the ball was misplayed.
Zepeda had two of Lake Forest's four base hits in the game, including a double. The Foresters also drew three walks but struck out a dozen times.
The loss dropped Alma's record on the season to 7-4. The Scots entered the weekend ranked 22nd in the nation, two spots behind the Foresters.
Werner started against St. Thomas and fell behind 1-0 in the second inning. She scattered seven hits over five innings while striking out three batters and walking one.
Lake Forest tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-out double by sophomore third baseman Jillian Rashid. Senior catcher Alex Hemmer had walked with one out and advanced to second on a groundout before coming home on Rashid's line drive to right field.
Zepeda singled and advanced to second on an error by the right fielder with one out in the fifth. Gardner then drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Beall followed with a single to center field and both runners came in to score.
McTague entered the game in the top of the sixth inning and induced six groundouts while allowing just one base hit, an infield single, to earn her third career save.
Lake Forest was out-hit 8-5 in the contest but still improved to 2-4 on the season. The Tommies fell to 1-1.
The Foresters will finish pool play against Methodist University Saturday morning at 10:00 (EST).