Wash. U. weekend rapid wrap-up: Women’s tennis, baseball in action
With both basketball teams losing this weekend and swimming and diving, track and indoor field wrapping up their seasons until NCAAs, the winter sports season is on its last legs. That means, however, that spring sports have begun in earnest, and this weekend was highlighted by women’s tennis traveling to Chattanooga, Tenn. for indoor nationals and baseball playing its first home games of the year.
The women’s tennis team went 2-0 in their first two matches of 2018 last weekend, shutting out Coe College and then trouncing No. 39 Carleton College 8-1. This weekend’s ITA Indoor National Championships, however, proved to be a different animal entirely.
The No. 11 Bears were overwhelmed in their quarterfinal matchup with No. 10 Carnegie Mellon University, with the lone bright spot in an 8-1 loss coming through junior Brigitte Hodge’s 6-2, 6-3 win at the four spot in singles.
In their second matchup against No. 17 Sewanee: The University of the South, Wash. U. fared little better. Freshman Ally Persky registered a win for the Bears with senior Grace Deering in doubles and added a singles win to go along with it. Sophomore Sanjna Tripathy and junior Lisa Chionis added a win in doubles, but that was all the Bears could muster, and they lost 6-3.
Wash. U. did, however, manage to end the weekend on a high note, with a resounding 5-0 shutout of Johns Hopkins University. After the Bears swept doubles, only Hodge and sophomore Libby Jubas got to finish their matches before Hopkins coach Dave Woodring called it.
The baseball Bears, meanwhile, built a winning streak in a big way with a sweep of Buena Vista University on Kelly Field at the Irv Utz Stadium this weekend. Saturday, the Red and Green exploded for 10-0 and 15-4 seven-inning victories before closing out the series with an 8-3 win in Sunday’s finale.
In the opening game Saturday, junior starting pitcher John Howard flirted with a no-hitter in a complete-game shutout of Buena Vista. Howard faced just two batters over the minimum and threw only 88 pitches while striking out seven and walking one. The sole hit against his ledger came in the fourth inning on a roller to shortstop that was ruled an infield single. It was Howard’s third shutout in his last five starts dating back to the end of last season.
In the latter part of the afternoon, the Bears broke away from a 5-4 contest with eight runs in the bottom of the fourth. Five Bears had multi-hit games, led by senior right field Auggie Mense’s 2-for-2 with three walks. Mense scored thrice and drove in three himself.
Wash. U. wrapped up the weekend with a breakout performance from a new face, as freshman starter Ryan Loutos lit up the Beavers for 13 strikeouts over six innings. In his short time at Wash. U. thus far, Loutos has been impressive on the mound, striking out 21 hitters over his 13-innings pitched while walking just one and allowing just three runs.
The Bears look to ride the momentum from their four-game winning streak into Auburndale, Fla. over spring break, where they play five straight contests, including one each against No. 8 Oswego State University and No. 11 University of Southern Maine.