Senior centerfielder Maria Zepeda reached base safely on six of seven trips to the plate as Lake Forest split a doubleheader with visiting Illinois College on Saturday, falling 4-2 in the opener before taking game two 3-1.
Game one was scoreless until junior rightfielder Maddie Trost belted a double off the fence in center field to drive in freshman pinch-runner Josie Klein with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. After the Lady Blues plated a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, Zepeda led off the bottom of the frame with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on a base hit past the shortstop by juniuor first baseman Riley Frisbie.
Illinois College scored two more runs in the sixth and held on for the victory.
Lake Forest out-hit the visitors 6-4 in the contest with Frisbie accounting for two of them.
The Lady Blues had a 9-5 advantage in hits in the second game but the Foresters came away with the victory.
Zepeda increased her program record totals for career walks, stolen bases, and runs scored in the bottom of the first inning. After drawing a base on balls to start the frame, she swiped second, went to third on an infield single by senior third baseman Emma Varsbergs, and came home on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Alyssa Grimm.
The story was similar in the third inning, which start by Zepeda begin hit by a pitch for the second time in the doubleheader, 11th time this season, and 34th time in her career. She advanced to second on a wild pitch, third on a base hit by Varsbergs, and home on a bunt by Grimm.
Zepeda was finally retired for the first and only time on the day to lead off the fifth but Frisbie followed with a walk. A double by Varsbergs sent freshman pinch-runner Meghan Joyce to third and she came home on another sacrifice fly by Grimm, who drove in three runs without an official at-bat in the contest.
Illinois College threatened in the sixth, scoring once and bringing the tying run to the plate with no outs. Senior pitcher Kyra Lenzi, who came on in relief earlier in the inning, induced a popout and a rally-killing double play lineout to escape the jam.
Lenzi did not allow a run of her own in two full innings to earn her second save of the season and fourth in her two years at the College. Sophomore Shaye Gauthier pitched the first five-plus innings and the victory improved her record on the season to 3-2.
Both team remained at the .500 mark overall this year, the Foresters' at 11-11 and Illinois College at 10-10. Lake Forest is now 4-2 in Midwest Conference play while the Lady Blues are 5-3.
Lake Forest was slated to play another home doubleheader against Monmouth College on Sunday but those contests have already been postponed and moved to April 28 in Janesville, Wisconsin, where both teams are already scheduled to play other opponents the day before. The Foresters will travel to Ripon College on Monday for a doubleheader set to begin at 3:00 p.m.