Titan softball’s stride busted by DePauw

Emily Thompson, Sports Editor

The Illinois Wesleyan softball team held an 11-game winning streak until Tuesday, April 12, when they faced No. Nine DePauw University. The Titans saw narrow losses (3-2, 2-1) in the intense non-conference doubleheader that leaves them at 16-9 for the season. 

“Despite anything that happened, I’m proud of how we competed. We held our own against a highly ranked team and I’m feeling optimistic about our team going forward,” freshman Ava Khoury said. “The chemistry on this team is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.”

Despite the losses, the Titans still maintain an undefeated 4-0 record in College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin play. 

 

Game #1: 3-2, L

The Titans and the Tigers proved to be even matches for one another as early as the first inning. DePauw managed to get a point on the board with a single that pushed one player onto home base at the top of the first. 

IWU kept DePauw on their toes for the next four innings. Strong pitching by senior Madie Monk struck out a Tiger to close out the top of the fourth and both teams stayed stagnant. 

Monk continued to bring the heat during the first game of the day, striking out a career-high eight hitters. 

But, at the bottom of the fifth, first-years Jen Kuhn and Ava Khoury whacked out doubles that evened out the scores 1-1. Kuhn took advantage of Khoury’s hit, making it from second base to home. 

DPU pulled ahead with a homerun at the top of the sixth and doubled the lead at the top of the seventh. With the score at 3-1, Kuhn sent out a homer at the last minute to close the gap 3-2. 

“I think the disconnect for us this week was our hitting. We struggled to produce runs and left too many girls on base,” Khoury said. 

 

Game #2: 2-1, L

The Titans didn’t manage to pick up the slack in the second game of the day. Until the bottom of the sixth, the Titans could not send any players home. 

Kuhn and Khoury combined once again for back-to-back singles that put them on second and first base, respectively. 

Sophomore Bailey Turner pushed them over with an RBI that gave Kuhn a chance to score. 

Both teams stayed dormant for the rest of the game, ending at 2-1. 

Junior Natalie Grubczak followed Monk’s lead from the mound, pitching a season-high ten-over-seven with zero walks. 

“During our win streak, we did well capitalizing on big opportunities and driving in runs when we needed to,” Khoury said. “In preparation for our next game, we’ve been focusing heavily on situational hitting and having quality at-bats.”

Titans softball will return to the field on Saturday, April 16 to defend their CCIW record against Carroll University. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 P.M.