NEWS AND TRIBUNE
DANVILLE, Ky. —
Jordan Batliner hit a two-run home run and Jenna Swain pitched another solid game to send IU Southeast to its second straight KIAC title with a 10-2 win over Berea.
“Our championship season's culminating point came when everyone decided to give up personal goals and sacrifice them for the team's ultimate goals,” IU Southeast first-year manager Joe Witten said.
The Grenadiers’ offense was impressive throughout the game as IU Southeast scored at least one run in every inning.
Batliner’s two-run home run — her ninth of the season — opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. IU Southeast put the game out of reach with a five-run third inning.
Whitney Estes doubled to score Brookelyn Visker, who had singled and advanced to third on rightfielder Sarah Haycraft’s misplays. A wild pitch scored Estes and a single by Batliner, another wild pitch and single by Katie Jelinek led to another run. Jade Detzer capped off the inning by hitting a two-run single.
The only blemish on Swain’s stat line was a two-run home run she gave up to Berea shortstop Harley Catron in the top of the fifth. Swain (10-2) worked four and 2/3 innings and gave up six hits and two runs while striking out five to pick up her second win in as many days.
“Our team played flawless defensively through the entire tournament, having no fielding or throwing errors,” Witten said. “Playing with poise and confidence at the plate allowed us to score many runs with different members of the team coming through during pressure situations.”
IU Southeast (36-7) won its fifth KIAC Tournament title in seven seasons and advanced to the NAIA Softball National Championship opening round at a campus site to be announced on May 7.
“I'm very proud of our total team effort and I am looking forward to the national tournament in a week,” Witten said.