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Spartans split with Ellsworth

Published: Monday, March 24, 2014 3:36 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014 3:48 a.m. CDT
Southwestern third baseman Ashley Gibbs (4) takes a throw in an attempt to tag out Ellsworth baserunner Cayla Bantz during Saturday's conference doubleheader here. The teams split the twinbill by identical 11-6 scores.
Freshman pitcher Danielle McIntosh delivers a pitch agianst Ellsworth here Saturday. McIntosh, a senior at Murray last year, also plays second base for the Spartans, who split the conference doubleheader.

Southwestern’s softball team came back from a successful trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to play a conference doubleheader split with Ellsworth Community College in frigid conditions here Saturday.

Ellsworth took the opener before the Spartans (7-2 overall, 1-1 conference) came back to take the second game by the same score, 11-6. All other softball games in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference were postponed or cancelled.

“It was one of the colder game days I’ve been associated with in a long time,” said SWCC softball coach Lindsay Stumpff. “When the sun went away it was brutal. At one point it was 29 degrees and windy. But other than our first day in Myrtle Beach, it was cold down there, too.”

The Spartans came back to Iowa with a 6-1 record, with a lineup of virtually all freshmen or first-year sophomores in the lineup, after returning catcher Brooke Wolf broke the thumb on her catching hand in the second game. Stumpff said Wolf will miss another week or two.

Freshman Peyton Russell took over behind the plate for pitchers Danielle McIntosh and Sami Strand.

McIntosh pitched the opener Saturday and suffered some control problems in the loss.

“Danielle has good movement, but she had trouble hitting her spots,” Stumpff said. “The weather didn’t help, I’m sure.”

Freshman Emma Ferrin drove in two runs on a double, triple and single. Hanna Murphy had a double and single and Strand, playing DH, pounded three doubles.

Strand pitched the second game and also had control issues with seven walks, but she was backed by a strong offense in the victory. Ferrin was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, Strand had a double and single and Molly Schimp was 2-for-4 with a double and single.

“With a new team you never know what to expect,” Stumpff said, “and I was worried that hitting might be our weakness. It turns out it’s one of our biggest strengths. We also haven’t made a lot of errors in our first eight games.”

The weather forecast could hamper what is supposed to be a busy schedule this week for the Spartans. A 3 p.m. home doubleheader is scheduled today against Iowa Central, folowing by a trip to William Penn Tuesday, Wednesday at home against Marshalltown and Thursday at home against Southeastern.

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