Lake Forest Sweeps Cornell, Clinches Spot in MWC Tourney

Photo by Kyra Vidas
Photo by Kyra Vidas

Freshman shortstop Hannah Kalnicky belted a home run in both games of the doubleheader as the Forester softball team defeated visiting Cornell College 3-2 and 7-0 on Thursday.

Kalnicky cleared the center field fence in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the opener at two. The Foresters had taken the early lead when a first-inning fly ball off the bat of Kalnicky was dropped, allowing senior second baseman Kat Beall to score. Cornell, however, took the lead on a two-run homer in the top of the fourth.

The decisive run in the contest was scored by the Foresters in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore catcher Sydney Wyatt led off the frame with a single to left field and advanced to second a few pitches later on an errant pickoff attempt by the Rams' catcher. Two batters later senior leftfielder Sydney Gardner blooped a base hit into left-center, setting up runners at the corners with just one out. Gardner then stole second and the throw from the catcher went into center field, allowing Wyatt to come home with what proved to be the winning run.

The Foresters were out-hit 7-4 in the contest but pulled out the victory.

After facing the minimum number of batters n the first three innings, Lake Forest sophomore pitcher Missy Dieckman-Meyer stranded one runner in the fourth, the bases loaded in the sixth, and the potential tying run on second base in the seventh. She struck out a career-high nine batters while walking just one and improved to 10-3 on the season.

Junior pitcher Kyra Lenzi became the fourth Forester in the last two days to post a complete game victory in game two on Thursday. She blanked the Rams for her second and the team's eighth shutout of the year, allowing just two base hits while striking out six hitters without issuing a walk in the game. Lenzi evened her record on the year at 4-4 and lowered her earned run average to 1.56. She also closed out the scoring in the fifth inning with her first career home run.

Kalnicky gave the home team the lead on her second homer of the day and team-high fourth of the year in the bottom of the second.

Lake Forest then rallied for four runs in the third, the first on a double by Beall that brought in Zepeda all the way from first base. Wyatt made it back-to-back RBI-doubles and came around to score on a single by Kalnicky. A two-out base hit by junior rightfielder Abby King scored Kalnicky and made the score 5-0.

Kalnicky scored her fourth run of the doubleheader when Lenzi's high fly ball sailed over the right field fence in the fifth.

Lake Forest improved to 25-9 overall this season and, with a pair of doubleheaders still to play, the Foresters sit atop the Midwest Conference standings at 13-1 in the league and have already clinched a spot in next weekend's four-team MWC Tournament. Cornell fell to 19-17 overall and 7-7 in the conference.

All 10 teams in the MWC will play doubleheaders in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Saturday with the Foresters taking on Grinnell College at 3:00 p.m. Lake Forest will then close out the regular season against Knox College at home on Sunday. The Senior Day and Parents Day doubleheader will begin at 1:00 p.m.