Heading into the final week of the regular season, Wittenberg (12-0, 26-4) holds a three game lead over DePauw (9-3, 15-17) and Denison (9-3, 25-11) for the top spot in league standings. With all four tournament spots still up in the air, North Coast action continues this week with four doubleheaders scheduled for Tuesday and the league schedule concluding on Saturday with four final doubleheaders.
ALLEGHENY went 1-3 last week. The Gators opened by dropping a pair of NCAC games at Wooster 4-0 and 8-3. On Saturday, they split a pair of games at DePauw, after falling in a close 2-0 game, the Gators bounced back with a 6-3 10-inning game two win. Paige Blinkiewicz (Kalamazoo, MI/Loy Norrix) led the Gators offense for the week, going .500 with seven hits, four runs, two doubles and a RBI.
DENISON went 4-2 last week, which included a doubleheader sweep of Hiram in its lone conference twinbill. In game two against the Terriers, senior Ryan Lee (Wilmette, IL/New Trier) went a perfect 5-for-5 with two doubles, four RBI and another run scored. Lee’s five hits tied the program’s single-game mark, while the team’s 20 hits were one shy of the single-game school record. On the week, Lee finished with 10 hits, including four doubles, six RBI and two runs, while also recording 14 putouts and 13 assists. In the sweep at Capital, junior Lauren Secaras (Wilmette, IL/New Trier) became the Big Red’s new career leader in saves with six after earning saves in both contests.
DEPAUW posted a 3-3 record last week with Gabby Smart (Chicago, IL/Trinity) leading the way with a .500 batting average (8-for-16) with four stolen bases. The Tigers posted a 1.44 ERA and held the opponents to just a .184 batting average. Emma Baldwin (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park River Forest) struck out 17 with no walks in 15 innings.
HIRAM faced a tough stretch last week, competing four times on the road, including games at DePauw, Kenyon, Baldwin Wallace and Denison. Hiram received their best offensive performance from freshman Nikki Budner (Massillon, OH/Washington) against Baldwin Wallace. The middle infielder finished the series 5-for-6 with two doubles and a home run.
KENYON split a pair of conference doubleheaders. On Wednesday at home, the Ladies defeated Hiram by scores of 7-2 and 8-1. On Saturday in Delaware, Ohio, the Ladies fell to Ohio Wesleyan by scores of 13-8 and 6-3. Over the course of those four games, junior Madi Maldonado (Chicago, IL/Lane Technical) went 9-for-15 (.643) with five runs scored and five RBI, while sophomore Amanda Ogata (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty) was 7-for-13 (.538) with four doubles, two runs scored and five RBI.
OBERLIN dropped all four contests last week, being swept by Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg. Senior Grace Evans (Arlington, VA/HB Woodlawn) led the Yeowomen at the plate with a .615 (8-for-13) average, four runs scored and one RBI.
OHIO WESLEYAN posted a 4-0 record last week to improve to 9-5 in NCAC play with conference sweeps of Oberlin and Kenyon. Senior infielder Taylor Dickson (Baltimore, OH/Liberty Union) continued to stay hot at the plate, posting a .571 average (8-for-14), 12 RBI, six runs scored and a 1.143 slugging percentage.
WITTENBERG, ranked 23rd in the most recent NFCA poll, extended its win streak to 14 after sweeping DePauw and Oberlin last week to remain the lone undefeated team in league play. Abbey Curnutte (Urbana, OH/Urbana) led the way at the plate going 5-for-10 with two homeruns and six RBI.
WOOSTER swept Allegheny last week in the Scots lone series to improve to 7-5 in league play. Maddy Chase (Pleasant Prairie, WI/St. Joseph’s) hit .600 on three hits, in the series with four runs scored and three RBI on three extra base hits including a homerun. Senior Jenna Kendall (Marshallville, OH/Smithville) threw a complete-game shutout with three strikeouts in the first game of the series.