High-scoring fifth innings helped the Central College softball team overcome sluggish offensive starts to sweep Wartburg College 10-0 and 10-2 on Saturday in Pella in a pair of games broadcast live on 92.1 fm KRLS. The victories came in the Iowa Conference opener for both teams and extended Central’s win streak to 18 games.
First baseman Katie Tenboer hammered two homers and drove in five runs in the opener, vaulting into first place on Central’s career home runs list with 19. Central racked up five runs in the fifth inning after clinging to a 2-0 lead, and Tenboer ended the game in the sixth with a three-run blast, her fifth homer of the season. In the nightcap Central trailed 2-1 entering the fifth, then erupted for nine runs to end it.
Tenboer became the fourth player in Central history to homer twice in a game, matching Christi Van Werden (1991), Donell Hotze (1997) and Missy Voigt (2001). She also topped the career home runs mark of 18 set by Tina Shimak (2004-07). Tenboer is hitting a team-high .471 with 29 runs batted in. She had four hits on the day and was intentionally walked twice, failing to reach base just once.
But the day’s most encouraging effort came in the pitching circle as freshman Brie Haycraft combined with Rhianna Fleetwood to toss a two-hit shutout in the opener. Haycraft went 5.1 innings, giving up two hits and two walks while striking out five. Fleetwood retired the final two hitter.
Kiley Lythberg threw the nightcap on short rest after pitching eight innings in a pair of non-conference wins Friday. Lythberg gave up one earned run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a five-inning complete game Saturday.
Central is now 18-2 overall and 2-0 in the Iowa Conference. The Dutch play host to Buena Vista in a twinbill Tuesday afternoon. The Beavers are 8-12 overall and 0-2 in the league after dropping a pair of games at Loras College Saturday.