Trojans Sweep Indiana Wesleyan in Pair of Run-Rule Triumphs

 

UPLAND, Ind. – Despite not playing for nearly three weeks, RV Taylor picked up right where it left off on Wednesday, recording a pair of five-inning victories over cross county rival and No. 11 ranked Indiana Wesleyan in their first home series at Gudakunst Field. The Trojans won the first game 9-0 behind an outstanding performance in the circle from Maddi Evans, before defeating the Wildcats 16-8 in the nightcap on a walk-off, three-run shot from Erin Cozad.

The Trojans, who came into Wednesday batting .299 as a team, continued their offensive tear. TU combined for 28 hits in the two contests, including six doubles and three home runs. Every Taylor starter recorded at least one hit in the series.

Evans (3-3) pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout in the opener, allowing just five total baserunners and one walk while striking out nine. The sophomore Grant County native increased her season strikeout total to 33, which leads the team.

The Trojans gave Evans plenty of support at the dish, scoring all nine of their runs in the first three innings. With two outs in the first, Ashton Whitman broke the scoreless tie, plating both Lauren Kanai and Taylor Wilson with a double to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. The sophomore catcher had an excellent afternoon and evening at the plate, finishing with four hits, four runs batted in, and three runs scored.

In the second inning, Kara Tucker plated Caitlyn Grim with an RBI double, Lexi Abruzzo scored on a wild pitch, and Tucker later reached home on a Wildcat error, increasing Taylor’s advantage to 5-0. TU put the contest away in the third frame, adding four more insurance runs to secure the nine-run victory.

Tucker drove in three runs, while Wilson finished 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Wilson also had a strong day at the plate for the Trojans, collecting five hits, four runs scored, and five RBI.

In the second contest, the Trojans and the Wildcats combined for 24 runs on 26 hits. Indiana Wesleyan opened the scoring on a two-run home run in the top of the first inning, but the Trojans responded with four runs on five hits in the bottom half of the frame. Wilson scored West on a fielder’s choice, Whitman followed with her second two-run double, and Evans singled home Whitman to put Taylor up 4-2.

The Wildcats (9-7, 0-2 CL) briefly regained the advantage at 5-4 in the top of the second, scoring three runs, but the Trojans took the lead back for good in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back home runs from Cozad and Evans put four runs on the board for the Trojans, and Tucker capped off the scoring with an RBI single, giving the Trojans a 9-5 lead. Tucker played two of her best games of the young season, finishing 4-for-6 with three runs scored and five RBI on the day.

Indiana Wesleyan cut the Taylor lead to one on a three-run home run in the top of the fourth, but a seven-run fourth frame for TU helped seal the deal. With one out, the Trojans recorded five straight hits, and Cozad’s second three-run blast secured the doubleheader sweep. Cozad was a force in game two, finishing 3-for-4 from the plate with two runs scored, two home runs, and six RBI.

Jessica Doctor (1-0) earned her first win of the 2020 season in relief, allowing five hits and three runs in 3.1 innings of work.

Taylor (11-3, 2-0 CL) will be back on the road for their next 10 games, beginning with a doubleheader against Grace (4-11, 0-0 CL) on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm.