After seeing a pair of sixth-inning leads slip away against No. 5 Luther College Saturday, the No. 8 Central College softball team rebounded in a big way by taking early leads and never taking the foot off the gas in knocking off No. 3 Coe College 9-6 and 5-2 Wednesday night.
Shortstop Annie Sarcone had a monster day with six hits in seven at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring four. She belted her seventh home run of the year and her eighth double. Meanwhile pitcher Brie Haycraft served as the team closer in both contests, and recorded two saves with some scoreless relief. Pitcher Rhianna Fleetwood improved to 6-2, yielding four earned runs on 10 hits with one walk and five strikeouts in the opener, and the Dutch rode a quality outing from freshman pitcher Mallory Schulenberg in the nightcap. Schulenberg, now 8-0, allowed two hits in 5.2 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Central softball team is 19-5 overall and 2-2 in the Iowa Conference, but must continue the season’s toughest stretch by taking on traditional NCAA Division III tourney contender Washington-St. Louis Thursday at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field. After 24 games, it’s the home opener for Central. The Bears are 15-7 and are making a three-day trip to Iowa, with a tourney at Grinnell College Friday and Saturday.