RV Taylor Wraps Up Arizona Road Trip With Third Straight Sweep
SURPRISE, Ariz. – On its final day in Arizona, RV Taylor closed out its season-opening, eight-game road trip with two more wins, sweeping Ottawa University (0-4) for the second time in a three-day period. Another sparkling performance from Maddi Evans carried the Trojans to a 5-1 triumph over the Spirit in game one, and a resilient effort in the final two innings of the nightcap resulted in a 10-8 TU victory.
RV Taylor (6-2) continued its red-hot start offensively, hitting .318 as a team in the two contests. Additionally, the Trojans recorded 21 hits in the doubleheader sweep, with nine players finishing with at least one knock.
After her pair of dominant performances against No. 17 College of Idaho, Kristin Mihalic finished 4-for-8 against the Spirit, knocking in three more runs to increase her team-leading RBI total to 12. Ashton Whitman was also effective at the dish, hitting 3-for-7 with two doubles, a pair of runs scored, and four RBI. Lauren Kanai went 3-for-8 with a double and drove in three runs, Emma West collected three hits from the leadoff spot, and Evans added two knocks and a pair of RBI.
In the opener, the Trojans scored three of their five runs in the second frame, all of which came with two outs. With the bases loaded, Kanai ripped a two-run single to center field, scoring West and Whitman, and Mihalic followed with an RBI single of her own to left field to give the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish. Ottawa got a run back in the bottom of the second, but Whitman tacked on a pair of insurance tallies with an RBI double in the top of the fifth.
For her third straight start, Evans (3-0) shined in the circle, pitching her second straight complete game and allowing just two hits while striking out nine. In five appearances this season, Evans has compiled a dazzling 0.59 earned run average and 38 strikeouts while allowing just nine hits in 23.2 innings pitched.
Taylor opened the nightcap with a six-run first inning, with Whitman, Evans, and Lexi Abruzzo combining to drive in five of those runs. The Spirit came roaring back, scoring seven straight between the first and second frames and adding a single run in the fourth to grab an 8-7 lead.
However, the Trojans’ top hitters came through in the clutch, helping to turn the tide in their favor. Whitman’s second RBI double of the day in the sixth inning tied the game at 8-8, and back-to-back, two-out knocks from Kanai and Mihalic in the seventh helped the Trojans secure the sweep. Evans closed out the contest, recording her fourth career save and striking out two of the final three batters she faced.
The Trojans will be back in action on February 19 for the first day of the Bear Creek Invitational in Oneida, Tennessee, beginning with No. 11 Campbellsville University (0-0). First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 pm.