Senior Jenny McTague and freshman Missy Dieckman-Meyer combined to allow just six hits and struck out 14 batters in 12 innings as the Forester softball team defeated visiting Beloit College 7-2 and 13-0 on Wednesday.
McTague pitched all seven innings in the opener and struck out 10 batters while walking just two. Three of the four base hits she surrendered in the game came in the top of the fourth innings when the Buccaneers plated a pair of runs to make the score 3-2. McTague retired nine of the final 11 batters she faced to earn the 47th victory of her career, which ranks tied-for-sixth in Midwest Conference history. She also climbed into ninth place in league annals with 352 strikeouts.
The Foresters had taken the early lead in the first inning of Wednesday's opener when freshman first baseman Riley Frisbie belted her team-leading seventh home run of the year. Sophomore centerfielder Maria Zepeda had walked and stolen second prior to Frisbie's longball.
Zepeda and Frisbie also combined to score another run in the bottom of the second. Zepeda drew a two-out walk and was going on the pitch when Frisbie hit a ground ball up the middle. The speedy Zepeda never stopped running and scored as the throw home was off-target.
After the visitors closed to within a run in the top of the fourth, the Foresters broke the game open with four in the bottom of the frame. McTague was hit by a pitch to start the rally but each of the next two batters flied out. Zepeda singled down the right field line and advanced to second on the throw to third. While attempting to intentionally walk Frisbie, the Beloit pitcher left one too close to the plate and the Foresters' leading hitter belted a double to right-center for her fourth and fifth runs batted in of the contest. Two wild pitches and two errors led to two more runs and the 7-2 score held up the rest of the way.
Lake Forest hitters drew eight walks and did not strike out in the game.
The Foresters jumped out to an even larger lead in the first inning of game two, scoring eight times before their third out. Zepeda was retired to start the frame but later walked, stole a base, and scored a run in the opening inning for the seventh game in a row. She has now scored in any inning in 18 consecutive contests. Frisbie scored the first run of the rally on a wild pitch, freshman designated player Haylee Sherlund doubled in three runs, junior shortstop Kat Beall hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-0, and sophomore leftfielder Abby King's second double of the inning brought home two more.
Freshman catcher Sydney Wyatt belted her second home run of the season in the second inning and followed sophomore third baseman Alyssa Grimm's two-run double in the third with another two-bagger to make the score 12-0. Freshman Tori Parrott earned her first career run batted in when she singled in the final run of the day in the bottom of the fourth.
Any one of the Foresters' runs would have been enough for Dieckman-Meyer, who allowed just two hits while striking out four batters without issuing a walk in her second shutout of the year. She improved to 10-4 on the season.
Lake Forest is now 16-12 overall and 7-3 in MWC play while Beloit fell to 6-24 overall and 3-9 in the league.
The Foresters will continue their conference schedule on the road this weekend. The team will play at Cornell College on Saturday and at Knox College on Sunday. Both doubleheaders will begin at 1:00 p.m.