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Owls split doubleheader with Cardinals

GAMBIER, Ohio — In a non-conference make-up doubleheader, the Kenyon College softball team hosted the Otterbein University Cardinals on Monday. Otterbein had one big inning to take game one 9-7, but Kenyon bounced back with a 5-2 triumph in the nightcap, which was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to darkness.

In that second game, Otterbein got to Kenyon starting pitcher Kylie Hamm for two runs in the top of the first inning. That, however, would be all the Cardinals would get, as Hamm kept them off the board for the final five innings. Overall, Hamm tossed six innings, allowed the two runs, which were both unearned, struck out one, walked two and allowed six hits.

The Kenyon offense backed Hamm up right away. In the bottom of the first inning, Natalya Delsante doubled, Arianna Jalomo doubled and Keala Montgomery singled to tie the game up.

In the fourth inning, Kenyon took the lead. Maeve McLaughlin led things off with a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Celia Torino. Brooke Avila singled and Maddie Friday walked to load the bases. Sophia Lynch then hit into a fielder’s choice, which scored Torino.

In the bottom of the sixth, The Owls scored twice more before the game was called. With two outs, Amanda Harris hit a pinch-hit single. Lynch then singled and was replaced at first base by pinch runner Mara Thomas. Two more singles from Allison McCutchen and Delsante scored Harris and Thomas, respectively.

 Kenyon also got early offense in game one. The first six batters in the lineup reached base as the Owls blitzed the Cardinals with a five-run first inning. Jalomo led things off with a double and Delsante quickly knocked her home. Later, with the bases loaded, Montgomery ripped a two-run single that chased Otterbein starter Maggie McVicker out of the game. When Riley Hamm came in to pitch, Kenyon greeted her with back-to-back sacrifice flies from Friday and Lynch.

The Owls’ impressive start was soon overshadowed by a huge second inning from the Cardinals. The visiting team capitalized on three Kenyon errors to score nine runs. The miscues, combined with a pair of walks and four Otterbein hits, led two seven unearned runs. The big blow was a one-out grand slam from Rachel Miller.

In the bottom of the third inning, Kenyon got one run back after Avila smashed her first collegiate home run, a solo shot over the left field fence.

The Owls crept a little closer in the fifth inning, trimming their deficit to two after two Otterbein errors led to another sacrifice fly from Friday. That would be all for the Owls, as they were held scoreless over the last two innings.

Throughout the doubleheader, Lynch was 3-for-4 with two RBI to raise her average to .360. Montgomery was 2-for-7 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Delsante went 3-for-8 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Kenyon, now 13-9, has another make-up doubleheader on deck. That will be at home against Earlham College on Thursday. Game one is set for a 3:30 p.m. start.

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