Marquis shines for No. 6 Titan softball

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It was not long ago CCIW coaches picked the Illinois Wesleyan University Softball team, ranked eighth in the nation, to finish first in the CCIW for the 2015 season.

After 20 games, the Titans are not only on course to win the CCIW but have improved their national rank to number six with a 17-3 record (2-0 in CCIW). They are currently 5-1 in their last six games and outscored their opponents 46-16 in those games.

This past weekend they played University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (6-11) in a double header. The Titans got off to a hot start Saturday with a three-run third inning, which started with a home run from senior pitcher and first baseman Chloe Montgomery.

Junior Sam Gudat and senior Hannah Bowen followed this with RBI singles.

Stevens Point quickly responded with three runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning. The winning run came in the bottom of the fourth inning when sophomore Katie Caulfield hit a double to left field, which allowed teammate Mary Rankin to score. First-year Mackenzie Marquis was able to pick up the win after pitching for 3.1 innings, allowing only two hits and no runs.

Marquis was given the start in the second game of the double header after earning the win in the first game.  The first-year from Herscher, Ill pitched 7.0 innings with six strikeouts, four walks and zero hits as the Titans won the second game 3-0.

This is only the twelfth no-hitter in school history and the first since teammate Chloe Montgomery threw one in 2013.

“It felt great to throw a no hitter!” Marquis said. “I started off my [first] season a little timid, but my team helped pick me up and build my confidence. I believe that the cause of our team’s success has been working together and building off of one another. I really look up to the upper classman and how they create a positive atmosphere and build up our confidence as a team.”

The Titans most recently split a doubleheader against fourteenth-ranked UW-Whitewater on Monday. The Warhawks were able to take the lead early in the first game 2-0, but IWU battled back and won the game 10-5.

Marquis picked up her fourth win of the 2015 season. In the second game, the Warhawks took another early lead scoring five runs in the first inning.

The Titans were able to come within two runs but the game was called due to darkness after the fifth inning, giving the Titans their third loss of the year with a final score of 5-3.