Cyclones softball team has sweep time
Moraine Valley College’s softball team made it a point to double its pleasure in recent outings.
The Cyclones had a sweep time as they captured both ends of three straight doubleheaders to run their unbeaten streak to eight games. Win No. 9 in a row was gained at Oakton College’s expense before the latter turned the tables in Game 2 last Thursday.
Without question, Moraine’s most impressive exhibition came against McHenry College, which gave up 35 runs in the span of only 10 innings and suffered a pair of lopsided Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference defeats as a result. The April 17 outcomes favored the Cyclones by scores of 11-2 and 24-2.
Moraine coach Mike Veen opted for station-to-station play in an attempt to keep the margins reasonably close, but even that couldn’t slow the Cyclones’ onslaught. Janay McGovern led Moraine’s first-game blitz with a 4-for-5 showing and four RBI.
Also getting involved were Kristie Bagus (4-for-5, two doubles, one RBI), Amie Raynor (3-for-5, double, five RBI) and Carly Trinley (3-for-5, two doubles, four RBI). Raynor was the winning pitcher.
Trinley and McGovern continued their hot hitting in the second contest, the former doing so with a 4-for-5 effort that included a homer, double and four more RBI. McGovern was an able accomplice as she supplied three hits, including a double, and five RBI.
Behind that duo were several other notables, a group headed up by Ari Bulthuis and Dana Cummings, who went a combined 6-for-7 with five RBI. Bulthuis socked a homer and also drew two walks, while Cummings had two doubles among her three hits. For good measure, Bulthuis notched the pitching victory.
Megan Beckow and Jazmine Ramirez both produced two-hit, two-RBI performances. Each of Ramirez’s safeties went for two bases, while one of Beckow’s was a round-tripper.
Harper College was the Cyclones’ next sweep victim as it fell 8-3 and 13-9. Moraine squandered a 6-0 lead in Game 2 before breaking the tie that had been created by the Bulldogs.
Raynor (two runs), Bulthuis (two runs) and Jenny Vanek (triple, five RBI, one run) all had two hits for the Cyclones in the opener, while Cummings contributed a hit, RBI and run. Vanek, Trinley and Cummings all stroked a pair of hits in the nightcap, with Vanek and Trinley each including a double among hers.
Raynor, who went 4-for-4 with a double in Game 2, was the pitcher of record in both contests.
Prairie State College couldn’t slow the Moraine express, either, as it dropped 5-2 and 8-0 decisions last Tuesday.
The Cyclones spotted the Pioneers a 1-0 advantage in Game 1 before overtaking Prairie State. Raynor again was a dual threat as she held the Pioneers’ sticks in check while aiding Moraine’s attack with two doubles and a pair of runs. Cummings (two hits, including a triple) and McGovern (one hit, one run) were other contributors.
McGovern’s two-run walk-off homer ended Game 2 via slaughter rule. The blast was one of two hits for her. Vanek (run), Cummings (run), Trinley (double, run) and winning pitcher Bulthuis (double, run) also hit safely for the Cyclones.
“In the first game, our defense was stellar,” Veen said. “That’s what’s winning us these games. Our pitchers aren’t getting many strikeouts, but batters are hitting to our tough defense.
“We’re playing really well [and] now is the perfect time for it to come together.”
Moraine was down 4-0 in its first game versus Oakton, but it battled back and Trinley’s two-RBI triple in the sixth finally pushed the Cyclones in front 5-4. Raynor made that one-run margin hold up by striking out the last batter she faced and stranding an Oakton runner on first.
Oakton brought Moraine’s win streak screeching to a halt later that same day as the former made off with a 4-1 triumph.
The Cyclones don’t like to make it easy.
Their latest win last Monday came after they lost an early lead and were forced to rally, which they did well enough to secure an 8-7 victory over North Central College’s JV squad.
Seamus Brennan was on fire as he reached base five times -- twice with base hits, twice with walks and once after getting plunked by a pitch. Robert Neylon and Kyle Belluomini both provided one triple and two RBI.
It was a rough outing for Moraine last Wednesday as it lost 10-1 to ISCC leader Waubonsee College.
The score was not indicative of how well the Cyclones played. Facing a top competitor, Moraine only faltered in the number of gifts it handed the Chiefs, who benefited from 10 free passes and three hit batsmen.
The Cyclones held Morton College to two hits in their 11-0 rout of the Panthers last Thursday. Mike Levigne pitched the shutout for Moraine, while Mike Rankin (four hits) and Jason Hine (three hits, four RBI) were the offensive ringleaders.