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