FAIRBORN —Madison Whitaker hit a pair of homeruns including a game winner as Wright State’s softball team won a pair of games in the Liberty Invitational Feb. 24.
The Raiders pounded out 14 hits to beat Valparaiso, 11-5, in the first game, and then topped Delaware State, 4-2, in the second game as Whitaker’s homer allowed WSU to walk off as winners.
Madison Nunez finished 5 for 5 with a pair of RBI, three doubles and threw out a Crusader runner attempting to steal on the defensive end.
The Crusaders put up a run in the first against Makenna Durieux, but the Raiders quickly answered in the second. Rebekah Lenos drew a walk to start the inning and stole second. After Madison Mills singled to put runners at the corners, Macy McCall doubled to score Lenos for her third RBI of the season.
After giving up another run in the home half of the second, Wright State took back control with a two-run third which started with a Whitaker double. Nunez then singled and Whitaker scored after an errant throw from the Crusader outfielder. After a pitching change, Madison Hartman singled to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead.
The windy weather in Lynchburg, Va. made life difficult for outfielders, and Valparaiso took advantage with a lead-off inside the park home run to tie the game. Nunez rifled a ball over to third to catch Carly Trepanier stealing to close the inning and avoid any damage.
Then, Wright State got to work offensively, scoring four runs to open up their biggest lead of the tournament. McCall doubled for the second time and Meredith Keel soon joined her on the bases after drawing a walk. Then Whitaker ripped a ball over the left field fence for a three-run homer, the first Wright State long ball this season. Brianna Hutchinson put the finishing touches on the inning with an RBI single.
Valparaiso inched closer with two runs in the fifth, but once more the Raiders responded and scored two more runs to take a 10-5 lead. Hartman and McCall both drew walks. Hartman eventually scored on a wild pitch and Nunez took a ball to left for one of her three doubles to score the 10th Raider run.
Nunez capped off her impressive performance by sending her third double and fifth hit of the game into center field, scoring Keel. Olivia Otani relieved Durieux in the fourth, and completely dominated. Otani pitched nearly flawless softball through 3.1 innings pitched, allowing no hits or runs and received the winning decision.
Much like the first game, Wright State had to work from behind after allowing two runs in the third. Hartman doubled down the right field line to score Nunez and draw within one run of the Hornets.
After Otani set down the Hornets in the top half, Jordyn Poulson sped around the base paths for an inside-the-park homerun, which tied the game.
Otani continued her impressive day on the mound and the game remained tied at two in the bottom of the seventh. Keel drew a walk, and Whitaker hammered a ball over the right field fence to win the game. Otani recorded her second win of the day, and pitched 10.1 innings consecutively between both games. In her seventh appearance, she allowed just one earned run and six hits while pitching a complete game without surrendering a walk.
For more information about Wright State University athletics visit www.wsuraiders.com.