Bowden Twirls Perfect Game
Story by Ben Mizera, William Woods Sports Information
FULTON, Mo — William Woods (Mo.) senior MacKenzie Bowden was dominant in game one against Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) this afternoon, as the Hartsburg, Mo., native, threw her first collegiate perfect game, while striking out 12 Lady Lions in the 12-0 victory. The Owls were able to sweep FHU in game two, winning 4-2 behind another impressive pitching performance from Becca Schemmer.
“She (Bowden)has been throwing well all year,” said head coach Tracy Gastineau. “All three pitchers (Bowden, Julie Scheer, Schemmer) have been fantastic doing their jobs on the mound and things are really coming together on offense and defensively especially behind our pitching today. Overall, she was just dominating today, as she had her pitches working and didn’t walk a batter which is always good,”
William Woods University 12 Freed-Hardeman University 0 (5 innings)
The offense totaled 12 runs on 14 hits in game one, and put the game in hand in the bottom of the first, scoring seven runs on six hits.
Hannah Campbell picked up where she left off yesterday, leading the game off with a single and advanced to second on a stolen base during Shelby LeCuru’s at-bat, who was eventually hit-by-pitch, putting runners on first and second for Kacey Scharnhorst.
The No. 3-hitter put down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runners up a base and Campbell was able to score from third, as Lindsey LeCuru singled to center, giving WWU the early 1-0 advantage. Emily Murphy followed her up with another single, scoring Shelby LeCuru and now put the Owls up 2-0.
WWU extended its lead to 3-0, as Macy Wierschem bunted and reached base, which scored Lindsey LeCuru from third. After an Alexi Cavins walk, the bases were loaded for Caroline Sicht, who cleared the bases, as she drilled a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall, just inside the foul pole, hitting her first home run on the season, to give WWU a commanding 7-0 lead after one inning of play.
That lead was more than enough for Bowden, who has been unhittable as of late, and now hasn’t allowed a run in 17.0 innings of work.
The Owls would plate two more runs on three hits in the bottom of the second, as Shelby LeCuru led the inning off with a single to center and was brought home two batters later by her sister, Lindsey LeCuru, who doubled to center, to give the team an 8-0 lead. Murphy then tallied her second single on the day through short, and Lindsey LeCuru was able to score on an error by the Lady Lion outfield, which extended WWU’s lead to 9-0.
William Woods would go on to add two more runs in the third, one in the fourth and cruise to a 12-run victory over a very good Freed-Hardeman (15-16; 12-4 AMC) team.
The offense was led by Sicht going 1-for-1 with two runs scored and a season-high four RBI. Campbell continued to swing the bat well at the leadoff spot, going 2-for-2 with one run scored, while Lindsey LeCuru and Murphy also added two hits each, while combining for three RBI.
William Woods University 4 Freed-Hardeman University 2
Game two was a pitching duel between Becca Schemmer and Lady Lion ace Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, but like they have on numerous occasions throughout the season and the eight-game winning streak, the Owls jumped on the board in the first inning.
For the second straight time in her first at-bat, Shelby LeCuru was hit-by-pitch, but was able to advance to third on Scharnhorst’s double to right field. Lindsey LeCuru singled to right, which scored Shelby LeCuru from third and put WWU ahead 1-0.
After Cousar got the next batter to retire, catcher Wierschem singled to left, scoring Scharnhorst and Lindsey LeCuru to give WWU a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Lady Lions got their first hit after seven inning of play, as Jessica Weeks singled to center. Kohnley Wade followed Weeks up with a single of her own and the Lady Lions had something going in the third.
Kamara Trice came to the dish and smacked a double to deep right-center, scoring Weeks and Wade, cutting the deficit down to 3-2. Trice’s two-run double also ended the pitching staff’s scoreless streak at 40 innings.
Schemmer, however, settled down and got out of the inning and kept the one-run lead intact for WWU. In the top of the fifth, the Owls gained some breathing room, as Lindsey LeCuru singled to right to start the inning, but advanced to third on an error by the Lady Lion defense.
The senior was able to score one batter later, as Murphy singled to center and gave WWU a 4-2 lead. That two-run lead was maintained still in the bottom of the seventh, but FHU did not want to go quietly, as pinch-hitter Katie Sholl hit an infield single.
Coach Gastineau then brought in Bowden to close out the game and was able to strikeout Allie Carpenter to get the first out. Weeks then ripped a line drive to short, but Shelby LeCuru made the catch and threw out Sholl at first for a game ending double play.
Schemmer picked up her seventh victory on the year, allowing two runs on seven hits and struck out two in six innings of work. Offensively, the Owls totaled eight hits, led by Scharnhorst and Lindsey LeCuru combining to go 4-for-7 with three runs scored and one RBI.
“Any conference game is a big win and I like the way we are playing right now,” said Gastineau. “Our approaches have been great at the plate, so if we stay on the path of playing well and staying focused we should be fine.”
The Owls will now have a couple of days to rest before hosting No. 17-ranked Park University on Tuesday afternoon. First-pitch will be thrown at 2 p.m., with game two following at 4 p.m. The game against the Pirates will also be Breast Cancer Awareness Day.