Foresters Sweep Grinnell, Climb Back to .500 Mark

Photo by Kyra Vidas
Photo by Kyra Vidas

Senior pitcher Jenny McTague earned the victory in the opener and a save in game two as the Lake Forest College softball team defeated visiting Grinnell College 8-2 and 5-4 on Sunday.

McTague and classmate Sam Rosenfeld were recognized between games on Senior Day. They have helped lead the Foresters to a 105-47 overall record, 43-8 mark in Midwest Conference play, and three league titles and NCAA Tournament appearances so far in their careers.

Lake Forest and Grinnell combined to score 13 of their 19 runs on the day in the first inning of the games. The Pioneers plated one and the Foresters four in the opening frame of game one. Sophomore centerfielder Maria Zepeda led off the home half of the inning with a single up the middle and later hustled to second when the Pioneer catcher was able to lock but not control a wild pitch. Freshman first baseman Riley Frisbie then singled through the left side and Zepeda scored when the ball got past the Grinnell leftfielder. After a one-out walk to junior second baseman Jillian Rashid put runners on first and second, sophomore Alyssa Grimm's single up the middle scored Frisbie and gave the Foresters the lead. Freshman catcher Sydney Wyatt's towering sacrifice fly scored Rashid, a base hit by McTague plated Grimm, and a wind-blown popup off the bat of freshman third baseman Haylee Sherlund found the infield dirt while McTague came home to complete the rally.

Lake Forest's other three runs in the game were scored on homers, beginning with a solo shot by Zepeda in the second. It was her fourth round-tripper of the year, tying Frisbie and sophomore outfielder Abby King for the team lead. After the Pioneers plated a run in the third, Frisbie broke the tie for the team lead in homers with a two-run shot to right-center in the fourth.

Neither team scored again in the contest.

Just one of the runs allowed by McTague was earned and she struck out five batters while walking one and scattering nine base hits. Grinnell stranded seven runners in the contest.

Lake Forest had nine hits, including three by Zepeda and two for Frisbie.

The first inning of game two also took a long time to complete. After the Pioneers scored three times in the top of the frame, the Foresters responded with four runs in their half. Zepeda singled through the right side and freshman Frisbie up the middle to begin the rally. King followed with a single to left-center and Zepeda raced home to tie the score and extend her streak of scoring at least one run to 14 games. Rashid then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Frisbie scored when the throw to first got away. Wyatt also bunted and the Pioneers elected to throw home but were unable to get King at the plate. A sacrifice fly by Sherlund brought home Rashid and gave the home team the lead.

Grinnell tied the score but left the bases loaded in the top of the fourth.

Lake Forest regained the lead when Wyatt belted her first career home run in the bottom of the fourth. She is the ninth Forester to clear the fence this season.

The scoring stopped but the Pioneers continued to threaten. The visitors stranded 10 baserunners in the game as Forester freshman pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer escaped several jams. She also surrendered nine base hits and struck out three batters while walking a pair. Two of the four runs she allowed were earned.

McTague came on to get the last out and strand the tying run at second base. She is now the program's career leader in saves with six.

Lake Forest had just six hits in game two, including Frisbie's third and fourth of the doubleheader.

The Foresters are now 12-12 overall and 3-3 in Midwest Conference play this season. Grinnell fell to 5-13 overall and 3-3 in the league.

After playing eight consecutive games at home, Lake Forest will travel to Appleton, Wisconsin, for a doubleheader at Lawrence University next Saturday. The twinbill will begin at 1:00 p.m.