Freshman shortstop Hannah Kalnicky homered twice and drove in seven runs to help lead the Lake Forest College softball team to a 10-4 victory over visiting Illinois Wesleyan University in the opener of their doubleheader on Wednesday. The Titans edged out the Foresters 6-5 in game two.
Kalnicky's first career home run was a three-run shot to center field in the bottom of the first inning that gave the home team a 3-2 lead. Junior centerfielder Maria Zepeda and sophomore Riley Frisbie singled the start the frame and scored on Kalnicky's blast.
A single by junior third baseman Alyssa Grimm, a walk to Zepeda, and a base hit by Frisbie loaded the bases in the bottom of the second and, with two outs, Kalnicky lined a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam. The multi-homer game was the first by a Forester since current senior Sydney Gardner cleared the fence twice on April 16, 2016 and Kalnicky's seven runs batted in match the fourth-highest single-game total in team history.
Freshman Shaye Gauthier, the designated player in game one, followed Kalnicky's second long-ball with one of her own over the center field fence for her first collegiate round-tripper.
Already ahead 10-2, the Foresters added two more scores in the bottom of the third. Sophomore catcher Sydney Wyatt doubled to lead off the frame and Grimm reached on a base on balls. They each advance a base on a sacrifice bunt by Gardner and Wyatt came in the score on a wild pitch. A bunt single by Zepeda brought Grimm home to make the score 10-2.
Illinois Wesleyan scored once in the fourth and sixth innings but was unable to close the gap any further, thanks in part to some nice plays by the Forester defense. Wyatt picked off a runner at first base in the second inning and Zepeda through out a batter at first from center field later in the frame. Both players earned an assist in the fourth. The Titans had a runner on second base when the hitter singled to center. Zepeda fired the ball home, holding the runner at third, and Wyatt caught the ball and quickly threw to second to catch the batter attempting to take an extra base. A few batters later Beall fielded a ground ball at second, tagged the runner going past, and threw to Frisbie at first for an inning-ending, rally-killing double play.
Sophomore pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer went the distance in the circle for the Foresters and improved to 7-2 on the season.
Lake Forest was the team jumping out to a two-run lead in the opening inning of game two. Zepeda and Frisbie starter the frame with opposite field singles and Beall laid down sacrifice bunt. While covering first, the Titan second baseman was able to get a glove on the errant throw from the pitcher but it still got away into short right field to score Zepeda. Frisbie then came home on a one-out sacrifice fly by Gauthier.
After Illinois Wesleyan took the lead on a three-run third inning, the Foresters tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Zepeda led off with a double and came around to score on a base hit by Kalnicky.
A two-run fourth put the Titans back on top but the Foresters got one back in their half of the inning when Zepeda singled in Wyatt with two outs.
Lake Forest was able to tie the score again in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out homer to center by Grimm. It was her first of the season and the fourth for the team on the day. The Foresters had just four home runs in their first 22 games of the year.
Three consecutive two-out singles in the top of the seventh gave the visitors the lead once again and they held on for the victory.
The doubleheader split left Lake Forest at 16-8 on the season and Illinois Wesleyan, the 16th-ranked team in the nation, at 16-7.
The Foresters, who have won each of the four Midwest Conference games so far this year, are scheduled to resume league play with a pair of doubleheaders at home this weekend. Saturday's contests against Cornell College and Sunday's twinbill with Knox College are set to begin at 1:00 p.m., weather permitting.