Big inning helps North Central upset Illinois Wesleyan in Whitewater Region
WHITEWATER, Wis. – North Central was tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the lineup lit up Illinois Wesleyan University starter Jenna Noland in the fifth, to the tune of five runs on five hits to give the Cardinals a lead it wouldn't relinquish in a 7-4 victory.
Olivia Goethals got things going in the crucial fifth with a leadoff single, and Kayla Antle drew a one-out walk to put two runners on for Vlasta Mangia, who singled to right field. When the ball scooted past the Wesleyan right fielder both Goethals and Antle scored, with Mangia moving all the way up to third base. Amanda Walker followed with an RBI single and Carly Trenhaile's two-out double knocked her in. Cecie Portillo finished off Noland with a single to score Trenhaile.
But, the Titans wouldn't go down with out a fight. Emma Clark smashed a home run to left in the sixth to cut the Cardinal lead to 7-3, and the Titans threatened to tie the game in the seventh. Nine-hitter Sara Rogers blasted another homer to make the score 7-4, with the top of the order awaiting Mangia. Leadoff man Courtney Martin singled and with two-outs Keri Leach reached on an error by Antle. Both runners moved up a base to second and third on a passed ball, so North Central elected to put on Clark, who represented the tying run. With nowhere to put Allie Riordan, Mangia got her to fly out to a twisting and turning Walker in left to end the game.
Wesleyan got on the board first with two runs in the top of the first, but in the bottom of the second Trenhaile blasted her third home run of the season against the Titans to get the Cardinals on the board.
North Central knotted the score in the fourth on an error by the Titan right fielder that allowed Walker to score from third.
Mangia, Goethals, and Trenhaile all had two hits, with Trenhaile carrying the offense with three knocked in.
“Something about playing Wesleyan fires this team up, and today we came out ready to smash the ball,” said Trenhaile.
Mangia (24-6) went the distance for the Cardinals in the circle, scattering eight hits and allowing four earned runs.