WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College softball team saw its late-season skid extend to 10 games with a pair of run-rule losses to its arch-rivals Wednesday evening. The Lady Builders dropped an 8-0 decision to the Falcons of Friends University in the opener, then fell by a 10-2 count in the second game at Broadway Recreation Complex.

Game 1 – (RV) Friends 8, Southwestern 0 (6 Innings)
Friends (28-8, 11-3 KCAC), which was receiving votes in the latest NAIA national poll, took advantage of first-inning pitching struggles, and added a four-run third inning to distance itself from the Lady Builders. Southwestern (12-27, 3-14 KCAC) was unable to cash in on any of its six hits, and fell to the Falcons in a six-inning run-rule contest.

Sophomore Alex Ritzema led Southwestern at the plate. The Waterloo, Wisc., native went 2-for-3, and was the only Lady Builder to record multiple hits in the game. Peyton Timmerman, Whytleigh Guerrero, Allison Flinn and Sydni Fulks each finished with single hits.

Senior starter Allison Flinn allowed three earned runs on two hits with two walks in the first inning alone, and was tagged with the loss. Flinn was replaced by Peyton Timmerman, who allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks over the next 4.1 innings. Hannah Foltz pitched the sixth inning, and shut down the Falcons in order.

Friends opened the game with a three-run first inning, then added four more in the third inning to push its lead to 7-0. Southwestern dodged the run-rule for an inning, but the Falcons plated their eighth run of the game in the sixth inning en route to the 8-0 series-opening victory.

Game 2 – (RV) Friends 10, Southwestern 2 (6 Innings)
Friends (29-8, 12-3 KCAC) opened up a seven-run lead over the first three innings, only to watch the Lady Builders sneak back into it with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. But the Falcons put the game away in the sixth, using a three-run frame to bring the run-rule into play before closing the game for a 10-2 decision.

Six different Lady Builders were responsible for Southwestern's six hits. Whytleigh Guerrero, Cady Norton and Paige Hall each went 1-for-3 at the plate, while Peyton Timmerman, Alex Ritzema and MacKenzi Clapp were 1-for-2. Guerrero and Clapp scored the two Southwestern (12-28, 3-13 KCAC) runs, while Ritzema and Hall were responsible for batting them in.

Freshman starter MacKenzie Lyons allowed 10 runs (seven earned) on eight hits with 10 walks in five innings of work, and was hit with the loss. Freshman reliever Hannah Foltz pitched the final inning, and retired three of the four batters she faced.

Friends scored a run in the opening inning, then added four more in the second, and two more in the third to take a 7-0 lead after three innings of play. Southwestern got one back in the fifth, when a lead-off infield single put Guerrero on base. Cady Norton placed a one-out single into the right-centerfield gap to move Guerrero to second, and a Falcon throwing error allowed Guerrero to advance to third. Guerrero went on to score on Paige Hall's ground-out, and dismantled the Friends shutout bid.

The Lady Builders scored another run in the fifth. With one out, Clapp singled up the middle, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Timmerman grounded out to second, and allowed Clapp to advance to third, and an Alex Ritzema single allowed Clapp to score, and cut the Falcon lead to 7-2. But Friends responded with three runs on two hits and an error in the sixth to put the game away. Southwestern left a runner on base in the bottom of the sixth, and Friends completed the sweep with a 10-2 victory.

Wednesday's losses drop Southwestern to 12-28 on the season, and 3-13 in KCAC play. The Lady Builders are scheduled to travel to Ottawa on Saturday, weather permitting. If mother nature allows it, first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. 

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