Strong Pitching in Nightcap Highlights RV Taylor’s Split with Spring Arbor
SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Behind a stout combined pitching performance from Lauren Kanai and Cassy Lewis in game two, RV Taylor (23-11, 11-7 CL) salvaged a doubleheader split with Spring Arbor (11-18, 7-8 CL), defeating the Cougars 3-1.
Kanai (9-5) recorded her ninth victory of the season, striking out three and allowing only one run in six innings of work. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native pitched out of trouble in both the third and fourth frames, crucial outs with Spring Arbor runners in scoring position.
The Cougars had a runner on third base with two outs in the third, but Kanai ended the threat by inducing a groundout to third for the final out.
Spring Arbor was able to put one run across in the fourth and had another runner on third with only one out, but a strikeout and a fly out helped Kanai escape another jam.
Lewis pitched a scoreless seventh, recording her Crossroads-League leading sixth save in the process. Additionally, Lewis’ six saves are the most for a Taylor pitcher in a single season, surpassing Sarah Heath (four – 2012) and Darby Shaw (four – 2019).
The Trojans scored single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings, which proved to be all they needed. Kara Tucker started the scoring in the second frame, singling home Ashton Whitman for the 1-0 advantage. Maddi Evans added to Taylor’s lead in the third, plating Taylor Wilson with a two-out single for her team-leading 26th run batted in this season.
Wilson added a little insurance in the fifth, scoring Kristin Mihalic on a two-out double for the final 3-1 tally.
Wilson and Evans each finished 2-for-4 with an RBI in the game two triumph, while Tucker and Emma West both collected two hits in three at-bats.
The Trojans struggled in the opener, dropping a 5-0 decision to the Cougars and being shut out for just the third time this season. While Taylor recorded six hits, only one was for extra bases, and only one Trojan baserunner advanced past second base.
Despite the defeat, Evans recorded nine more strikeouts against the Cougars, giving her 150 on the season. The Fairmount, Indiana native now needs just 12 more punchouts to become the Trojans single-season leader.
Taylor will back at Gudakunst Field on Thursday afternoon for a non-league doubleheader against Aquinas College (11-5, 3-1 WHAC). First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 pm.