Senior Jessi Werner and junior Jenny McTague combined to strike out 17 batters while allowing just two base hits apiece as the Lake Forest College softball team defeated visiting Beloit College 9-0 and 13-1 on Tuesday. Both games were called after five innings.
Werner's shutout in the opener was the 14th of her career, one shy of the program record set by Nancy Findeisen in 2003. She struck out nine batters without issuing a walk and now has 29 strikeouts in 16.2 innings in four career appearances against the Buccaneers. Werner improved to 7-4 on the season and raised her career victory total to 49.
Shortstop Kat Beall, who entered the day with a team-high 15 runs batted in, drove in the first run of the game on a bases-loaded fielder's choice groundout in the bottom of the first inning. After a Beloit error loaded the bases again, freshman designated player Alyssa Grimm, doubled to the gap in left-center and all three runners came around to score. Junior rightfielder Tara Airola followed with a double off of the wall in right to plate Grimm with the fifth run of the inning.
Werner struck out all three batters she faced in the top of the second and the Foresters added to their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the frame. Senior catcher Alex Hemmer doubled down the left field line to start the inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a base hit by senior third baseman Kaleigh Ambrose. Ambrose later scored on an error.
Airola and freshman leftfielder Maria Zepeda started the bottom of the third with singles and both players eventually scored on another single by Ambrose, who was 3-for-3 in the contest. Airola and Hemmer each had two of the home team's 10 base hits.
Lake Forest also jumped out to an early lead in game two with three runs in the bottom of the first. Beall belted her team-high fourth home run of the season with one out and consecutive two-out singles by senior first baseman Sally Snarski, sophomore centerfielder Sydney Gardner, and freshman catcher Lucy Stahl plated two more runs.
After a scoreless second innings, the Foresters scored eight times in the third. Snarski started the team's biggest inning of the season with a single, Gardner and Stahl followed with back-to-back doubles, and a single by McTague made the score 6-0. After a walk to sophomore rightfielder Sam Rosenfeld and the first out of the inning, senior second baseman Vasi Panos and Beall produced another set of back-to-back doubles and Ambrose and sophomore outfielder Callie Schaser added singles to finish off the rally.
Beall was 3-for-3 in the game while Panos, Gardner, Stahl, and Snarski added two hits apiece. The Foresters' 18 base hits in the contest were a season-high and matched their total from last year's 23-1 victory over Beloit.
McTague finished the contest with a season-high eight strikeouts and moved into third place in program history with 259 punchouts in her career. She also became the sixth pitcher in team history to surpass 300 career innings pitched.
Lake Forest improved to 11-10 overall this season and 5-1 in Midwest Conference play. Beloit fell to 3-19 overall and 0-8 in the league.
The Foresters will continue conference play at home Wednesday afternoon against Ripon College. The doubleheader will begin at 3:00.