ANDERSON, Indiana - For the first time this season the Mount St. Joseph University softball team found themselves in the "others receiving votes" section of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top-25. The Lions are off to the best start in program history, entering the day winners of 21 of their last 22 games and a 26-5 overall record.
With that in mind the Lions traveled to Anderson, Ind. to take on the Ravens of Anderson University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference double-header. They entered the day winners of their last four conference games by a combined 26-0. Today's games would be much different though, as the Ravens held the Lions offense in check allowing only 6-runs. The Mount would rely heavily on their prodigious pitching staff to secure their fourth consecutive HCAC sweep.
GAME ONE - Mount St. Joseph 2 - Anderson 1
The first game of the double header opened up as well as it possibly could for the Lions. Brooke Otto (Brookville, Ind./Franklin Co.) opened the game with a one-out base hit in the first inning. The Lions then welcomed senior catcher Savannah Sturgill (West Harrison, Ind./East Central) back, after she had missed the last four games due to injury. Sturgill opened the scoring, lacing a ball over the fence in left field, for her third home run of the season. The two runs would be all the Lions could muster in the game, as Anderson's pitching stifled them the rest of the way.
Thankfully though The Mount has one of the best pitching staffs in the nation, headlined by the reigning HCAC pitcher of the week Sarah Miller (Fishers, Ind./St. Theodore Guerin). So two runs was all the Lions would need, as Miller carved through the Anderson lineup. Throwing a complete game, allowing three-hits, and one run, while striking out nine Ravens. Miller secured the victory, her eleventh against only one defeat.
GAME TWO - Mount St. Joseph 4 - Anderson 2
In game two the Lions got behind early, as Anderson hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the first inning. They would answer back in the top of the second inning, as Bri Kauf (Orrville, Ohio/Orrville) helped her own cause by driving in Brandy Bunch (Mason, Ohio/Mason). The Mount would add another run in the third, as Alehia Tucker (Covington, Ky./Holy Cross) drilled her third homerun of the season.
Anderson answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at two. The Lions would not quit though, as they scored a pair in the top of the fifth inning to put the game away.
The often used combo of Kauf and Kamryn McCool (Brookville, Ind./Franklin Co.) on the mound, was again great for the Lions. Kauf threw the first 2.2 innings, allowing 3-hits, and 2-runs (1 earned) before giving way to McCool. She threw the final 4.1 innings, allowing 3-hits, while striking out five.
The Mount (28-5, 9-1 HCAC) will welcome the Yellow Jackets of Defiance College (18-12, 7-3 HCAC) to the Kinder Morgan Softball Complex on Saturday. During the double header the Lions will honor their 2019 senior class. Tune into MSJsports.com for all of your Lions softball coaches.