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2014-03-13 Tigers off to strong start in Tucson
2014-03-13 Tigers off to strong start in Tucson(2)

Through 10 games, Hannah Gardner leads the Tigers with a .621 batting average.

Tigers off to strong start in Tucson

Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 at 12:16 AM
2014-03-13 Tigers off to strong start in Tucson

Celebration at the plate for Erika Tatum.

TUCSON, Ariz. – In No. 10 Olivet Nazarene University’s first 10 games of their annual spring break trip to Tucson, the Tigers are 8-2 and have outscored their opponents 95-21. The Tigers have a combined batting average of .435 including 38 extra-base hits.

Monday, March 10

The Tigers two losses came on opening day, their first back-to-back losses since March 30, 2013. Olivet fell 5-1 in the opener to Concordia University (Neb.). Both teams finished with seven hits apiece, but the Tigers two errors came back to hurt them. Senior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) connected for a second inning double, but was stranded by her teammate. Senior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.), junior Jordy Truelock (Princeton, Ind.) and junior Rachel Holaway (Wheaton, Ill.) each added a single. Junior Linsday Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) suffered the loss, throwing 4.2 innings while allowing seven hits and three walks. She finished with four strike outs.

Olivet faced their highest ranked opponent next in No. 24 Park University (Mo.), falling 3-7. The defense continued to struggle, committing six errors on the game. Senior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) suffered the loss, throwing a complete game. She allowed eight hits, while striking out three. Offensively, the Tigers were led by junior Megan Butler (Frankfort, Ill.) who went 2-for-4 at the plate, both hits for extra bases in a triple and a double.

Tuesday, March 11

Things improved tremendously for the Tigers overnight. Olivet opened the triple-header with a 12-0, five inning win over Missouri Valley College. Senior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) picked up the Tigers first win of the season, throwing a complete game one-hitter. She finished with eight strike outs and just one walk. Gardner, Truelock and freshman Kristina Shahan (Plainfield, Ill.) each connected for two hits in the game, with the Tigers finishing with nine overall.

The offense stayed hot in game two against College of St. Mary (Neb.), connecting for 15 hits in the 16-2 five inning victory. Stotler earned her first win of the season, throwing all five innings while allowing just two hits and striking out four. Gardner finished with three hits, including a double. Senior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.), junior Erika Tatum (Bourbonnnais, Ill.) Truelock and sophomore Lindsey Kripple (Fairbuy, Ill.) each added two hits. Truelock connected for her first and the Tigers first homerun of the season.

In the nightcap, the Tigers made quick work of Dordt University (Iowa), winning 10-0 in five innings. Truelock, Butler, freshman Megan Semro (Marengo, Ill.) and sophomore Ashley McKnight (Deer Creek, Ill.) each connected for two hits. Santefort picked up the win, throwing all five innings while allowing just three hits with four strike outs.

Wednesday, March 12

Taking on the University of Jamestown (N.D.) in the opener of the triple-header, the Tigers picked up another five-inning win, 12-0. Gardner picked up her first homerun of the season, making her only two away from becoming Olivet’s all-time leader. She finished the game 4-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI’s. Sendzik connected for three hits, including two doubles. She finished with three RBI’s. Tatyum and sophomore Katie Megyesi Washington, Ill.) each added two hits. McAndrews inproved to 2-0 on the season, allowing just five hits while striking out five and walking two.

The Tigers were looking for a little revenge in the middle of the three games, taking on Aquinas College (Mich.) who unexpectedly knocked off Olivet a year ago. The Tigers used a 10-run second inning to put things out of reach, winning 12-2 in five innings. Phillips finished 3-for-3, just a home run short of the cycle. Truelock went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and three RBI’s. Tatum connected on a home run in the second, while McKnight added two hits. Santefort picked up the win, allowing six hits while striking out five.

In the nightcap, Olivet needed just five innings again to pick up a win over Peru State University ( ). The Tigers connected for 15 hits, led by Phillips, Truelock and Tatum with three each. Gardner added two, while Holaway connected on her first homerun of the season in the third.

Thursday, March 13

Phillips and Gardner combined for a perfect 7-for-7 at the plate against Dakota Wesleyan University (S.D.) with two doubles each. Gardner also connected for her second home run of the season. Tatum, Sendzik and McKnight each added two hits. McAndrews picked up the win, going all six innings while allowing just three hits and striking out four.

Truelock connected for three triples and a single in game two, a win against the University of Jamestown (N.D.). Gardner added two singles. Santefort carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowing just four hits while striking out 10.

Olivet will finish up their southern schedule with Briar Cliff University (Iowa) at 1:30 p.m. (PST) and Valley City State University (N.D.) at 3:30 p.m. on March 14. They end the week on Saturday, March 15 with the University of British Columbia at 1:30 p.m. and Dickinson State University (N.D.) at 3:30 p.m.