Watson, Owls stay on surge, trip No. 13 Union in 8-5 victory

Senior center fielder L.J. Watson had two hits, including a solo home run, and drove in two runs as William Woods University downed No. 13 Union (Tenn.) University 8-5 on Wednesday at Owls Field.

Senior third baseman Adam Wojciechowski came through with a two-run single during a six-run outburst in the third inning as William Woods capitalized on a pair of Union errors.

The Owls — winners of eight straight and 20 of their last 22 — improved to 23-9 on the season. Union dropped to 26-9.

Watson’s solo shot to center with two out in the bottom of the first put William Woods in front 1-0. Watson has now homered in three straight games.

The Bulldogs answered with two runs in the top of the third to take the lead, but Watson had an RBI single in the bottom of the inning as William Woods took control.

Junior shortstop Blake Wilson scored on a throwing error in the third for the Owls and was credited with an RBI later in the inning on a fielder’s choice. Freshman right fielder Matt Thomas also drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run.

Union scored two runs in the fourth to close within 7-4. After William Woods added a run in the fifth on freshman catcher Derek Fletcher’s RBI single, the Bulldogs manufactured their final run in the sixth.

Wojciechowski went 2-for-3 with a double as the Owls collected nine hits. Watson was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while sophomore second baseman Jacob Harrison — a Fulton graduate — finished 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.

William Woods senior starter Eric Switzer allowed four earned runs on five hits in four innings to post his first win of the season. Switzer (1-1) walked two and struck out one.

Senior Alex Cann — the last of six pitchers for the Owls — threw 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief to earn his 11th save of the season. Cann struck out three.

William Woods travels to St. Louis on Friday for the start of a critical four-game American Midwest Conference series against No. 20 Missouri Baptist University. The two teams will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader, followed by a noon doubleheader Saturday.

Missouri Baptist is in first place with a 13-1 record, followed by the Owls in second at 11-1.

William Woods softball....7...3

Williams (Ark.) Baptist.....1...4

Senior first baseman Audrey Crabtree’s two-run double topped off a six-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth inning to spark the host Lady Owls’ victory in the opener of Tuesday’s AMC doubleheader.

William Woods University then had its seven-game winning streak halted in the nightcap when No. 18 Williams Baptist College tallied what turned out to be the game-winning run in the fifth.

In the first game, the Lady Owls (19-12, 5-5 American Midwest Conference) took a 1-0 lead in the first on senior catcher Megan Willard’s RBI fielder’s choice.

Junior center fielder Kelsey Schulte and senior left fielder Morgan Parkhurst both delivered run-scoring singles in the fourth for William Woods. Willard and senior designated player Chelsea Loethen each collected an RBI in the inning on a pair of bases-loaded walks.

Crabtree finished 2-for-3 as the Lady Owls made the most of six hits.

Freshman starter MacKenzie Bowden picked up the complete-game win for William Woods, allowing an earned run on just four hits. Bowden (9-4) struck out nine and walked three.

The Lady Owls trailed 2-0 in the second game before freshman shortstop Lindsey LeCuru put them on top with a three-run home run to left with two out in the second. Williams Baptist (18-6, 7-1) tied the game 3-3 with a run in the third, then pushed across the decisive run in the fifth.

LeCuru went 3-for-4 to anchor William Woods’ eight-hit attack, while senior left fielder Courtney Wilkinson was 2-for-2 with a run scored. The Lady Owls stranded 10 baserunners.

Schulte (7-5) was pinned with the loss for William Woods, giving up four earned runs on eight hits over five innings. She recorded five strikeouts and issued a walk.

Also on Tuesday, LeCuru and Bowden were named the AMC player and pitcher of the week, respectively.

LeCuru — a Jefferson City native — helped guide the Lady Owls to a 6-2 record last week. She hit .517 (15-for-29) with three home runs, three doubles, a triple and nine RBI. LeCuru also scored 11 runs and ended the week with a seven-game hitting streak.

Bowden, from Hartsburg, compiled a 3-1 mark and a meager 0.32 earned-run average last week. She logged 30 strikeouts, including 11 while throwing a two-hitter in an 8-0 win at Hannibal-LaGrange University on March 31.

In an 8-0 home victory over Benedictine University-Springfield last Sunday, Bowden tossed a no-hitter and struck out seven. Opponents hit just .137 against her last week.

William Woods travels to Kansas this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders. The Lady Owls play Baker University in Baldwin City at 5 p.m. Saturday, then face MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Fontbonne University.....6...13

Westminster baseball.....4.....7

O’FALLON — The Griffins hit two home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to stun the Blue Jays in the first game of Tuesday’s SLIAC doubleheader at T.R. Hughes Ballpark.

Westminster College was unable to recover from a 5-0 defict in the nightcap to suffer its first conference losses of the season. The sweep left the Blue Jays at 9-10 overall and 4-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Westminster out-hit Fontbonne 10-8 in the opener and took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh, before the Griffins (6-14, 2-4) connected for a solo shot and a two-run homer to escape with the victory.

Senior outfielder Andrew Jett had two hits, knocked in a pair of runs and scored once to lead the Blue Jays. Junior outfielder Mike Young and junior infielder Nick Genetti also had two hits apiece and both scored a run.

Westminster junior starter Brandon Zucker limited Fontbonne to three runs on five hits over six innings, but sophomore reliever Kevin Moritz failed to record his fifth save. Moritz (0-1) was tagged for three runs on three hits — including the two home runs — in just a third of an inning.

Senior outfielder VJ Reynolds was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the second game for the Blue Jays, while junior Mark Davidson had three RBI.

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Ten Eyck (1-4) suffered the loss for Westminster, surrendering nine runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays travel to Louisville, Ky., for a weekend SLIAC series against Spalding University. The two teams square off in a noon doubleheader Saturday, followed by a nine-inning game at noon Sunday.

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