CLERMONT, FLA. – A two-run fourth inning home run from freshman catcher Mackenzie Williams (Kendallville, Ind.) helped lift Manchester University past Bethany College of West Virginia 4-3, highlighting day one of the Spartans' spring break trip games Sunday, March 17.
Williams' blast, that cleared the left center field fence, broke up a 2-2 tie with the Bison. MU sophomore pitcher Ashlea Nash (Gas City, Ind.) and a strong defensive effort helped make the advantage stand. Bethany trimmed the deficit to 4-3 with a single score in the eighth and then loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs, but a pop up behind the pitcher's mound was corralled by sophomore shortstop Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) to stop the rally.
The Spartans battled hghly-touted Allegheny College of Pennsylvania in game two. Sophomore pitcher Maureen Lund (Huntington, Ind.) went toe-to-toe with the Gators' Caitlin Nealer into the fifth with a scoreless tie before Allegheny scored eight runs over the final three frames en route to an 8-4 win.
MU (2-2) did get to Nealer in the final two frames. Junior third baseman Kyle Planck (Valparaiso, Ind.), as part of a three-for-four, three-RBI effort, drilled a two-run double to the fence in left center during a three-run sixth. Willmann dropped a twisting liner down the right field line to plate a run in the seventh.
Manchester University returns to the diamond at the National Training Center Complex Monday, March 18. The Spartans take on Wellesley College of Massachusetts at 5 p.m. and UW-Stout at 7 p.m.