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Purnell pitches, hits William Penn softball past St. Elizabeth, 4-3

By

Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – Indira Purnell scattered five hits and struck out nine, and she hit a solo home run, to lead William Penn to a 4-3 win in nonconference softball on May 15 at Canby Park.

A strong wind blew in from right field throughout the day, wreaking havoc on fly balls and resulting in a centerfielder catching one in the infield for an out, but Purnell used it to her advantage leading off the fourth. She sent a shot over the leftfielder’s head, with the wind taking the ball away from the fielder. Purnell never stopped running and easily beat the throw home to put the Colonials ahead, 2-0.

Alexa Cruz of St. Elizabeth would be tagged out trying to steal against William Penn in the second inning of Monday's game. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Alexa Cruz of St. Elizabeth would be tagged out trying to steal against William Penn in the second inning of Monday’s game. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

The first run came home in the first inning. Jessica Behornar reached on a bunt single, and after a fly out, consecutive singles by Purnell and Aubree Foster drove her in.

Two runs appeared to be plenty for Purnell, who cruised through five innings. Claudia Roncone had a two-out single in the first, and Alexa Cruz was hit by a pitch in the second, but they were the only baserunners until there were two out in the bottom of the fifth.

After Cruz reached base, Purnell retired the next 12 Vikings. Of those, just one ball was hit in the air, a line drive off the bat of Roncone that was caught in right. Each of the Colonials’ infielders had a least one assist during that stretch.

William Penn added two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-0 lead, which seemed safe. Mackenzie Whalley sent a fly ball to center field that died in the wind before St. Elizabeth’s Mary Kegelman could reach it, and Leanna Bib walked. A throwing error on a Behornar ground ball allowed Whalley to score, and Purnell knocked in Bib with a sacrifice fly.

Indira Purnell was in control on the mound and at the plate for the Colonials. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Indira Purnell was in control on the mound and at the plate for the Colonials. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

The Vikings put some offense together in their half of the fifth. Miranda Wohner picked up a two-out single when her popup fell between three fielders behind the pitcher’s circle. Kegelman reached on an infield single, and when the throw to first went out of play, Wohner was awarded two bases to score a run.

Julia Casson began St. Elizabeth’s seventh-inning comeback bid with a walk, and McKenzie Sweeney singled to right. Both advanced when the throw from the outfield hit the umpire. Cruz knocked in courtesy runner Ashlyn Kelleher with a groundout, and Madison Merrill singled to score Sweeney. Purnell was not deterred, however, and ended the game with her ninth strikeout and a fly ball to Whalley.

The Colonials ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 7-8. They stay on the road for their next game, which is Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. at Brandywine.

Casson surrendered just six hits for St. Elizabeth, only three after the first inning. The Vikings (5-10) will try to end a seven-game losing streak on Tuesday at Canby Park when Christiana visits for a 3:45 p.m. start.

Mackenzie Whalley squeezes the final out of the game for William Penn. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Mackenzie Whalley squeezes the final out of the game for William Penn. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

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