Blue Jays Split Final Regular Season Game With Blackburn College

Picture by Caleb Maassen.
Picture by Caleb Maassen.

Carlinville, IL 5/4/2023- The Westminster College softball team traveled to Carlinville, Illinois to take on the Blackburn College Beavers in the regular season finale. Heading into the game both teams were jockeying for a spot in the SLIAC tournament next week. The Blue Jays would hold off a late-game rally by the Beavers to win game one 8-5. The Beavers would come back to win 10-2. Westminster finishes the season with a 4-35 record and 4-14 in the SLIAC. Blackburn ends their 2023 campaign 11-25 and 2-16 in the conference. As of Thursday night, the Blue Jays sit in the sixth and final playoff spot, they will be scoreboard-watching this weekend as they await the final SLIAC results and find out who they will be playing in the SLIAC tournament.

Game One: Box Score

The Blue Jays would get on the scoreboard early with Emily Esquivel (San Diego, Ca. / Eastlake) starting the game with a lead-off infield single. Raegen Dickinson (Ozark, MO / Ozark) would move her to third base with a one-out single to left center field. Haylee Chandler (Bowling Green, MO / Bowling Green) followed with an RBI single to left field to give the Jays an early 1-0 lead. Blackburn would tie the game in the bottom of the first after drawing back-to-back walks and then got a hit to bring in the tying run.

Westminster would score in the first four innings of the game, scoring two runs in the top of the second, one in the top of the third, and three in the top of the fourth inning. The Blue Jays would capitalize on three passed balls in the top of the second to score. Felicity Kirby (Camdenton, MO / Camdenton), Payton Dudenhoeffer (Jefferson City, MO / Helias Catholic), and Kelsey Logan (Fulton, MO/ South Callaway) strung together three straight two-out singles with Logan scoring Kirby after an RBI single up the middle.

Esquivel got the top of the fourth started with a leadoff single to right field. Raigan McKee (Oologah, OK / Oologah) stepped to the plate and smoked an RBI double to left field to score Esquivel. Chandler would get hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second base with one out in the inning. Eva Gannon (Wentzville, Mo. / Holt) would reach on a fielder's choice and score McKee after an error by the Beaver shortstop. Kirby would get a hit up the middle to score Tatum Bradshaw (Winfield, MO / Winfield), who came in to pinch run for Chandler. This would give Westminster a commanding 7-1 lead.

Blackburn would answer with a four-run inning in the bottom of the fourth to make it 7-5. Logan would come to the plate with two outs in the top of the sixth inning and hit a double down the left-field line. Maddie Marrero (Columbia, Mo. / Rock Bridge) delivered an RBI single to left to score Logan and put the Blue Jays up 8-5.

Haley Miller (O'Fallon, MO / Liberty) would start game one and pitched a complete game, her tenth complete game of the season. She would strike out six batters, walk five, and give up five runs on eight hits as she picked up her third win of the season. She finishes with a pitching record of 3-16.

Game Two: Box Score

Westminster would score again in the top of the first inning to start game number two, Esquivel got things started with a lead-off base hit. McKee would reach on an error. Dickinson would hit a fly ball to right field and move Esquivel up to third after the tag up. Gannon then hit a two-out double down the right field line to score Esquivel to put the Jays up 1-0. The Beavers would tie the game up in the bottom of the first after hitting an RBI double to left field to score a runner they had at second base. Dudenhoeffer would lead off the top of the second inning with a base hit up the middle of the infield. Logan would also hit a single up the middle, but Dudenhoeffer would get thrown out trying to advance to third base. Marrero scored Logan after reaching on an error by the Beavers pitcher to put the Blue Jays up 2-1.

The Beavers would score a run in the bottom of the second to tie the game again, then shut down the Westminster bats and take the game over.  Blackburn would score two runs in the bottom of the third, two runs in the bottom of the fifth, and four runs in the bottom of the sixth and went on to win the game 10-2.

Westminster awaits their fate and will be back in action on Tuesday, May 9th for the first round of the conference tournament with the game time and opponent yet to be determined.