Hawks sweep West Liberty

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Sometime you go small, and then sometimes you have to ‘super-size.’

That could describe the doubleheader softball sweep for Chowan University on Monday against West Liberty University which the Hawks won by scores of 3-1 and 11-3. It raised their record to an even 10-10.

They won the first game with ‘small-ball’: three unearned runs and not one extra-base hit; while in the nightcap they pounded out a dozen hits including a pair of homeruns – one of them a grand slam.

The ‘big-bopper’ honors went to senior slugger Tricia Gorman who had four hits in five at-bats, clouted the two homeruns, and finished by driving in five runs in the two games.

“It was a long tough week mentally and physically,” said fourth-year head coach Mandy Balduf, “but this team just came out and we had some fun today.”

“They did a nice job of getting to .500,” she added with a smile.

As for Gorman, the only time she did not reach base was in the first game when she sent a West Liberty offering all the way to the fence in center field and the Hilltoppers’ player made a spectacular catch for the out.

“I called my Mom between games,” joked Gorman after the series, “and told her I almost hit one out and she said, ‘Maybe you’ll get one in the next game,’ and I ended up with two homeruns – one of them a grand slam.”

Gorman’s two dingers give her the team lead in homeruns now with three.

“I guess Mom was my good-luck charm,” she laughed, ‘because last year I hit my first grand slam against Mt. Olive.”

Chowan scored first in the premier contest, Fahren Munro singled with one out and Gorman followed with a long single to centerfield that was misplayed for a two-base error that allowed Munro to score.

After being sacrificed to third, Gorman scored on a wild pitch and Chowan led 2-0 after one inning of play. Later, another Hilltoppers’ miscue in the fifth inning led to a Hawks’ insurance run.

On the mound, sophomore Lacey Wildeboer won her second outing of the season and lowered her earned-run average to 4.20. She scattered three hits in going the distance while striking out five West Liberty batters.

“I like playing second base,” said Wildeboer, “but I’ll play wherever Coach tells me to go.

“Besides,” she added, “it’s so much easier when your defense helps you out; and my defense was definitely on the ball today.”

In the second game, Gorman got things rolling with her two-out solo homerun in the first inning for a 1-0 Chowan lead.

In the very next inning, Brook Owen lined a two-out base-hit to plate the second run.  Munro followed two batters later with another run-scoring single before Gorman shook off an 0-2 count to blast her second one over the fence with three aboard to make it 7-0, Hawks.

West Liberty got one run back in the third and two more in the fifth to trail by just four, but Chowan would add four more runs on twelve total hits to make it a five inning game shortened with the eight-run rule.

Allie Kolezyzski picked up the win on the mound, surrendering three runs on six hits and striking out seven.

“Hopefully from here on out its just onward and upward,” said Kolezyzski, who won her second game in a row. “We’ll just keep tacking on the wins.”

Chowan heads to Walnut Creek Softball Complex in Raleigh this weekend for the annual CIAA Softball Round-Up where they’ll play six league games over three days.

“We were pretty upset last week about our first conference loss,” said Owen. “so I think we’ll go up there more than ready to play.”