Special to the Herald
CLINTON — After holding off a William Penn rally for a 5-3 win in the opener, the Ashford softball team wasn’t as fortunate in the second game of a doubleheader Thursday night. The Statesmen needed just five innings for a 10-1 to leave town with a split.
Senior Shelby Hobelman moved into a tie for the team lead in home runs, belting her fourth of the year in Game 2. Junior Allie Klasen had four hits and junior Siera Spahiu drove in three runs to lead the Saints.
Ashford (15-13) opened a 3-0 lead before recording an out in its first at-bat of the day. After singles and stolen bases from Payton Geeting and Klasen, Alex Bitto brought home the first run with a squeeze play that scored Geeting from third. One batter later, Spahiu doubled into the right-field corner, bringing home Klasen and Bitto.
William Penn (8-17) cut the lead to 3-2 with solo home runs in the second and fourth innings, but Ashford stretched the lead back to three thanks to a pair of unearned runs in the fifth. Klasen scored on a throwing error before Spahiu drove home her third run of the game with a single up the middle.
Down to their final three outs, the Statesmen cut the lead to two with a one-out RBI single from Brooklyn Bantz. With two runners on and the Statesmen threatening, Nicole Schmidt stymied the Penn rally, striking out the last two hitters to end the game.
Schmidt moved to 11-6 on the year, after giving up two earned runs on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in a complete game. Paige Miguel (0-5) took the loss for Penn, giving up four earned runs on 11 hits in six innings of work.
The Statesmen had better luck against Ashford starter Shelby Yepsen in Game 2.
She allowed nine runs on 12 hits over four innings. Brittanee Grove (4-5) held the Ashford offense in check, scattering three hits and striking out four.
The Statesmen scored in four of the five innings, plating one in the first, three in the third, two in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Hobelman accounted for the Saints’ lone run when she launched a pitch over the right-field wall for the 20th home run of her career, the most in program history
The Saints continue their homestand today with a 5 p.m. doubleheader against Roosevelt University.