Titan softball looks to continue national reputation

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By: Matt Wegh, Managing Editor

The Illinois Wesleyan softball team, ranked No 16 nationally in DIII, picked up some momentum after their spring break road trip. Although the team was not able to play the last two games of the DePauw Invitational due to weather, they got a couple of big wins early in the week and went 2-0 overall for the trip.

The Titans’ record is now 5-3 going into their Thursday, March 22 matchup versus Monmouth College.
The first game IWU played at the DePauw Invitational was against the hosting DePauw Tigers. The team won this game handley, taking down the Tigers 3-0.

Brea Walker, sophomore pitcher for IWU, was perfect through seven innings, and held DePauw to only one hit for the entire game. She allowed no walks, and struck out four batters along the way to the victory. Her shutdown performance earned her CCIW Pitcher of the Week honors, the second time an IWU player has won Player of the Week honors in the young season. Sophomore Sam Berghoff was the first Titan to gain this honor in the first week of the season when she got CCIW Player of the Week for hitting.

The Titans followed that win with a 7-1 route of interstate rival, Illinois College. This was the last game for the team on this trip, as their final two games versus Washington University and Trine University got called due to weather. Early competition, and early success, will be important for the Titans going into a tough CCIW conference schedule, and through eight games, the team has gotten just that.

Their three losses, all of which took place in the NFCA DIII Leadoff Classic, all came to teams ranked within the top 25. IWU lost to St. John Fisher College in the second game of the season, and got thumped by Berry College 4-21 in the following game. These schools are currently ranked No. 11 and No. 6 nationally. Their third loss came a couple of games later in a close 3-4 loss to George Fox University, ranked No. 19 nationally.

The level of play in these first few games, as well as the momentum the team is carrying from the DePauw Invitational, should send the Titans in a good direction as they start conference play next week versus Millikin.