Coming off a rough stretch of games in which the Thunder struggled to get wins against Aurora and Wartburg, Wheaton’s softball team was back on the field on last Friday against Saint Mary’s College (Ind.) for a doubleheader here at Wheaton’s Ruth Leedy Field.
Both teams hung tight throughout the first five innings, capped off by a triple to right field by sophomore Kelly Thornton that brought home sophomore Sophie Kent, tying the game at 2-2. The game then went to extra innings. Unfortunately, the Thunder allowed a single in the eighth that scored two runs, effectively winning Saint Mary’s the game.
In the second game, the Thunder came out with their bats ablaze, en route to an offensive explosion of eight scored runs in the first three innings. Saint Mary’s could only muster six runs as the women ran away with the game and split the series.
Junior Megan Neuhaus and Thornton led the Thunder with two hits apiece, as well as one run each. Thornton also collected three RBIs in the game. Junior Kendall Kehres pitched all six innings for the Thunder and allowed nine hits.
A few days later, on Monday, the team traveled to Grand Rapids, Mich. to face Calvin College in a doubleheader. The Thunder seemed to have left their bats in Wheaton as the team could only muster one run and five hits in both games, combined. Calvin, meanwhile, collected 20 hits in total. Thornton had the team’s lone RBI on the day when she hit a fly ball to left and allowed sophomore Hannah Clark to score. The Thunder lost by scores of 1-6 and 0-8.
To finish out the busy week of play, the Thunder played Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill last night. The team lost both games of the doubleheader by scores of 1-4 and 4-5. The Thunder have now lost six of seven games and are struggling to manufacture runs, only topping four runs in an inning twice during that streak.
“We are a young team that has a lot of talent we just need to find our groove by continuing to work hard and focus on getting the details of our jobs done,” junior Julia Arthur said after the game. “Despite our record we are feeling confident about going into the start of conference play on Saturday with a clean slate!”
Wheaton hopes to stop their four-game skid on Saturday as they take on Millikin University at home for their first CCIW game of the year.