April 1, 2014

Whitehead's no-hitter guides Penn to sweep


On a day when pitching ruled supreme, it was Jennifer Whitehead who was the best of the best as William Penn swept Viterbo in a Midwest Collegiate Conference softball doubleheader Sunday.
The Statesmen (16-7, 4-0 MCC) won by scores of 1-0 and 4-1 to extend their winning streak to a season-best five games.
      The opener featured just three hits with none by the visiting V-Hawks (6-16, 1-5 MCC). Whitehead (10-1) hit the second batter she faced, but then reeled off 12 straight outs, including six consecutive strikeouts. She beaned another Viterbo player in the fifth, but just as it did in the first, her defense turned a double play.
      No other hitter reached base as the senior southpaw faced the bare minimum of 21 batters. Whitehead recorded 12 strikeouts in her second no-hitter of the year (fourth career).
      Her teammates unfortunately also struggled at the plate as Viterbo pitcher Alison Vanhavermaet went pitch for pitch with her Statesmen counterpart. Bri Zerley broke up the no-hit bid in the second inning, but no other base hits were managed until the sixth.
An inning after leaving the two runners in scoring position, William Penn finally broke through. Malloree Grove led off the sixth with a single up the middle and two batters later, sister Brittanee Grove pulled a single through the right side.
Viterbo had already committed two prior errors, but its third was most costly. Brittanee’s single went under the glove of a charging Viterbo right fielder and the ball rolled all the way to the fence. Malloree sped around the pads and easily scored the game’s lone run.
Vanhavermaet was also back in the circle for the second game. She was equally as strong as William Penn was held off the scoreboard through the first four innings. Lunden Young  as getting the job done for the Statesmen as well, giving up only one run in the third.

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