Ward Hits Grand Slam to Help Softball Split a Pair with #18 Saint Francis (Ill.)

Ward Hits Grand Slam to Help Softball Split a Pair with #18 Saint Francis (Ill.)

ADRIAN, Mich. – Junior pitcher Racquel Ward hit a grand slam to help the Siena Heights softball team split a pair with No. 18 Saint Francis (Ill.), on Saturday. SHU dropped game one 7-2 but picked up a 4-0 win over USF in game two.

In game one, Saint Francis added a solo run in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings before the Saints had a chance to respond in the sixth. With a 4-0 lead, the Fighting Saints added another three run to go up 7-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. With a pinch-hit double, Amy Nordstrom sent Ashley Best and Ashley Helmink home for the lone two scores for SHU.

Helmink led SHU (6-6) with two hits with solo shots coming from Hayley Turk, Bailee Taylor and Nordstrom. In the circle, Lauren Best suffered the loss on the mound with 11 hits, seven runs, five earned, and three strikeouts. Lauren Valdez relieved her in the sixth, striking out one batter.

For the Fighting Saints, Wetherell earned three hits while three others managed two. Pitcher Dieringer earned the win, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out 11.

Game two started out quiet, each pitcher allowing one hit or less until the sixth inning. To start off the bottom of the sixth, Jordan Bianchi singled and was sent to second with a Kris Forest sacrifice bunt. After two outs, USF walked Nordstrom to allow runner on first and second with two outs. Hayley Turk walked to load the bases. With two outs and two strikes against her, Racquel Ward sent a grand slam over the fence to give Siena Heights a 4-0 lead. USF threatened with a run but was called out a home to keep the clean sheet for SHU and earn the victory over 18th-ranked USF (9-5).

Ward led the Saints with four RBIs while earning a hit and run. Bianchi earned two hits for Siena Heights as well. Ward earned the win for SHU with three strikeouts and allowed only five hits. Five different Fighting Saints earned a hit. Pitcher Barsz suffered the loss with two strikeouts and three hits against in 5.1 innings. Dieringer relieved her, pitching the final blow to allow three runs while only striking out one.

Next up, SHU will travel to Indiana-South Bend for a double-header with a 3:30 start, on Thursday.