CLERMONT, Fl. - Calvin upset No. 2 ranked Illinois Wesleyan Saturday night to open its spring trip to Florida in winning fashion.
Calvin (3-0) jumped on the Titans (6-1) for three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Kristen Newman (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea HS) drove in the first run on a single that brought home senior Maddie DeGroot (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) who had led off the inning with a single. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman Hannah Biddlecome (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern HS) sent a ground ball to short that was misplayed, sending two runners home.
Illinois Wesleyan scratched across a run in the top of the sixth and added another run in the top of the seventh on an RBI groundout. The Titans had the tying run on third with two outs when Calvin senior pitcher Anna Gernant (West Des Moines, Ia./Valley HS) was able to close out the game with a ground ball to second that junior Hannah Horvath (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia HS) fielded cleanly and flipped to first for the final out.
DeGroot was 2-for-3 at the plate for Calvin in the win. Senior Rachel Borden (Edwardsburg, Mich./Edwardsburg HS) was 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.
Gernant (1-0) got the win, striking out six and limiting Illinois Wesleyan to only four hits.
Calvin was scheduled to face No. 9 Linfield Saturday night but the game was washed away by rain. The Knights have now added a 9:45 a.m. game on Wednesday against Western New England College.
COACHES COMMENT: "This was a great start to our spring trip," said Calvin head softball coach Becky Hilgert. "IT was a fun atmosphere at the field against a high level opponent. One of our offensive goals was to attack early in the count and I felt we did that early in the game. Putting up three runs in the third inning was huge for our confidence and energy level. Our defense made some outstanding plays behind Anna and we were able to sustain allowing two runs late in the game to pull out the victory."
NEXT UP: Calvin will face Geneseo State on Monday at 11:15 a.m. followed by a 1:30 p.m. contest against Plattsburgh State.