Monnier, Clutter dominant in circle
Lady Quakers earn two wins
March 3, 2013
~ Danielle Monnier and Jess Clutter ~
FT. MYERS – Junior Danielle Monnier and sophomore Jess Clutter combined for 16 strikeouts over 14 innings as the Wilmington College softball team opened with season with victories over WPI and Newbury Sunday.
“They really showed leadership of our team and put us in position to win,” said head coach Beth Floyd. “That is what we want out of our pitchers. We want leadership and hard work, and always put us in position to win. They both did that today.”
Monnier (Houston, OH/Houston) struck out eight over seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits in the 4-2 win over WPI in the opener.
“Danielle came out right from the start of the game, and really set the tone of the whole team,” said Floyd. “She did a great job of hitting her spots and changing her speeds, causing WPI to struggle for the first half of the game.”
Clutter (Englewood, OH/Northmont) also struck out eight over seven innings, and allowed one earned run on four hits in the 2-1 win over Newbury.
“Jess had full command of all of her pitches today,” Floyd added. “She is the type of pitcher that really thrives on location. She was able to not only work the zone left and right, but up and down.”
Wilmington jumped out early in the opener with two runs on a RBI single by senior Brooke Byrne (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) and a sacrifice fly from junior Nikki Tolson (Monroe, OH/Lemon Monroe). WPI tallied single runs in the second and third innings to pull even, but the Lady Quakers got some two-out magic in the fifth.
Junior Erika Lee (Blanchester, OH/Blanchester) led the inning off with a single and move to second on a one-out sacrifice by freshman Megan Warren (Grove City, OH/Grove City). Lee scored on a single by junior Stacy Lunsford (Wilmington, OH/Clinton-Massie), who after a wild pitch, scored on a single by sophomore Allie Noggle (Ashville, OH/Teays Valley).
The top of the order proved pivotal for WC in the second game. Leadoff hitter, Lunsford, scored the first run of the game on a Tolson single in the first. Then, freshman Alexis Smith (West Liberty, OH/West Liberty Salem) – filling in for Lunsford – smacked a two-out single to score pinch runner Katie McDevitt (Salem, OH/Salem) from second with the eventual winning run.
“Alexis Smith came up huge for us in the fourth inning. She hit the ball hard all day,” said Floyd. “Erika Lee had a great day in both games at the plate. In the second game, she really handled that pitcher that changed speeds. The game is about stepping up and making that clutch play. We always talk about stringing hits together, but with timely hitting, we can’t leave people on base.”
The Nighthawks added their lone run on a two-out single in the sixth, but never really challenged. Newbury got their leadoff hitter on base in just one of the seven innings.
Wilmington (2-0) faces Regis at 9 a.m., then Kenyon at 11 a.m. Tuesday.