Foresters Sweep Knox to Open MWC Play
The Lake Forest College softball team defeated visiting Knox College 2-1 in eight innings and 9-0 in six frames on Saturday. Forester senior Leslie Harshey had a walk-off single in the opener and sophomore shortstop Sam Ritsema ended game two with her second home run of the contest.
Harshey and Ritsema clinched victories for junior pitchers Kelly Chesnut and Molly Thomsen, respectively. Chesnut allowed just five base hits and matched her career-high with nine strikeouts while pitching all of game one. She lowered her team-best earned run average to 2.55. Thomsen struck out three batters and allowed just three base hits in her first career shutout. She allowed just one Knox baserunner to reach second in the contest.
Six of the Foresters' seven base hits in the opener came off the bats of Harshey and junior first baseman Nikki Miller, who were each 3-for-4 in the contest. Miller drove in freshman second baseman Alyssa Vechiola with two outs in the bottom of the third to tie the score at one. Knox had scored once in the top of the frame.
The home team stole eight bases in the contest, one shy of the program record. Vechiola had two of them.
The Lake Forest defense recorded double plays to end the third and fourth innings and added another twin-killing in the eighth. Ritsema was part of all three plays.
Ritsema started the scoring with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the second inning. Singles by Tucker, senior catcher Danielle Gore, and Harkins loaded the bases with one out and freshman left fielder Whitney Leiderman drew a walk to make the score 2-0. Vechiola followed with a run-scoring bunt single and Miller hit a sacrifice fly to left to complete the four-run rally.
Harkins singled in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored on a Leiderman's second home run of the season. Miller reached on a base-on-balls and sophomore center fielder Nora Logue singled, setting up Ritsema's three-run game-ending homer. It was her team-high sixth round-tripper of the year.
The Foresters are now 12-13 overall this season and 2-0 in Midwest Conference play. Knox fell to 5-16 overall and 0-6 in the league.
Lake Forest will host a doubleheader against Grinnell College tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. The Foresters will celebrate Senior Day and honor fourth-year players Harshey, Gore, and pitcher Cami Daun.