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Late-innings rally leads MU to split

CLERMONT, FLA. – Manchester University remained at .500 overall and on its 2013 spring break games at the National Training Center Complex Wednesday, March 20.

The Spartans rallied past Ramapo College of New Jersey 6-5 in the opener. MU jumped out to a 4-1 lead through two-and-half-frames due to aggressive base-running in the form of two stolen bases and a pair of Lady Roadrunner errors. The Black and Gold continued to keep the advantage until Ramapo answered with a three-run outburst of its own in the bottom of the sixth.

Enter the Spartans' offense in the top of the seventh. Junior outfielder Kaitlyn Schmidt (Fort Wayne, Ind.) slipped an infield single past the Ramapo defense, Sophomore shortstop Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) hammered a shot into the gap that rolled to the fence in left center field. Schmidt came around to score for a 5-5 tie. Willmann was cut down at third on a close play, but, a batter later, senior outfielder Kayla Yates (Delphi, Ind.) delivered a triple to the fence in right field. She came in with the eventual winning run, as freshman designated player Mackenzie Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind.), as part of a three-hit game, lifted a single to left field.

The two-run rally was enough for starting pitcher Maureen Lund (Huntington, Ind.). She set the opposition down in order in the home half of the frame to wrap up a complete-game, six-strikeout effort for her third victory of the season.

In the nightcap, Manchester University battled Calvin College of Michigan to a scoreless draw over six of seven frames. However, the Lady Knights used a five-run first to claim a 5-0 win.

Junior second baseman Alicia Cleveland (LaGrange, Ind.) led the offense with two hits. Sophomore pitcher Ashlea Nash (Gas City, Ind.) worked through the rough opening inning and went the distance with three strikeouts.

MU closes its spring break trip games by taking on the College of St. Catherine's of Minnesota and Hope College of Michigan Friday, March 22. Game times are 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.