Defense was dominant as the No. 13 Central College softball team and No. 15 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps were engaged in a scoreless duel in the desert Monday evening — until Caitlyn Meyer stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Given the choice by coach George Wares of bunting the potential winning run over to second base or swinging away, Meyer answered with a mammoth blast just inside the left-field foul pole to give the Dutch a 2-0 walk-off win. Central followed with a less dramatic 9-2 victory over Nazareth College to improve to 7-1.
While Meyer delivered the crowning blow, it was the masterful pitching performance of sophomore Brie Haycraft, along with some sparkling defense, that fueled the win. Haycraft fired a two-hit shutout. She walked two—one intentionally — and struck out six.
In the nightcap, the Dutch outhit Nazareth 12-8, and starting pitcher Rhianna Fleetwood allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings, with no walks and four strikeouts, but had to leave the game early after being struck by a line drive. Her injury was not believed to be serious.
After eight games in four days, the Dutch are 7-1 and get to spend a free day in the Arizona desert. They’ll return to action in the Tucson Invitational Games on Wednesday.