The Statesmen softball team dodged numerous bullets in defeating two non-conference foes at the First Annual William Penn Classic Friday.
William Penn (11-6) opened the day with a 7-3 win over Madonna (Mich.) and then knocked off Bellevue (Neb.) 7-1.
The Statesmen, playing at the Lacey Sports Complex, got off to a nice start with one run in each of the first two innings against the Crusaders. After sister Malloree Grove reached on an error to lead off the contest, Brittanee Grove drove her in with a single.
Ashley Bezdicek was then hit by a pitch to start the second frame and scored on a single by Sydney Edwards.
The offense suddenly dried up, however, with just two individuals reaching base over the next four frames. In the meantime, Madonna picked up three runs in the sixth inning to claim the advantage at 3-2. With its back against the wall, William Penn erupted for five seventh-inning runs.
Steviee Grove started the rally with a one-out single, while Edwards brought in pinchrunner Brittany Weikel with a game-tying triple.
Malloree Grove singled in Edwards to put her team up for good. Jorden Steele hit a double to plate Malloree Grove, while Brittanee Grove drove a two-run shot over the centerfield fence for insurance runs.
William Penn outhit Madonna 10-9 with Edwards going 2-for-3 (two RBI) and Malloree (two runs) and Brittanee Grove (three RBI) both finishing 2-for-4.
The offense was actually necessary for once for senior southpaw Jennifer Whitehead. Despite improving to 8-0 on the year, things did not go well for her as she gave up two earned runs and walked four. Whitehead struck out eight on a day in which she allowed multiple runs for the first time this season.
The Crusaders (11-5) left 11 players on base, advancing runners into scoring position in five innings.
Friday’s second matchup was similar as Bellevue had several baserunners, but failed to bring them around with 11 left on base.
William Penn struck first with a two-run third inning. Malloree Grove managed a lead-off double and then tagged up and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brittanee Grove. Jessica Christensen also doubled and came around on a Bri Zerley single.
The Statesmen tacked on another run in the fourth with a two-out rally. Ashlee Dennis walked and scored on Steele’s single.
Christensen made it 4-0 in the fifth with a lead-off home run — her first of 2014. The Bruins (10-7) got one back in the top of the sixth, but the Statesmen put the game on ice with an RBI double by Malloree Grove and another two-run roundtripper off the bat of Brittanee Grove, who leads William Penn with five homers.
The Statesmen held a 10-6 edge in base knocks with Malloree Grove topping the list at 3-for-4 (two runs). Brittanee Grove was 2-for-3 (three RBI) and Christensen ended the game 2-for-4 (two runs).
Lunden Young struggled finding the strike zone with six walks, but was otherwise solid in moving to 2-3. The junior produced five strikeouts in the win.