Brink Hits 3 Hrs In Clarkson's Softball Sweep
Clermont, FL – Sophomore Maddie Brink drilled three home runs, including a grand slam, as the Clarkson University Softball team claimed an 8-6 win over Nichols College and then followed up with an 8-4 win over Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. In the opening game, Clarkson put up multiple runs in the second, third and fourth innings to gain a 7-0 lead. In the second, the Knights loaded the bases on a Kayla Robert single, Ryle LeBourveau hit by pitch and an error. Olivia Zoeller hit a sacrifice fly to center, allowing Robert to score and pushing the other two runners up a base. Danielle Whitham singled between the shortstop and third baseman to score the other two runners and put the Knights up 3-0. The following inning, Maddie Brink hit a two-out, two-run homer, scoring Kyrstin Messier on the blow. In the fourth, Zoeller opened with a walk and then stole second, scoring on a Whitham single to right. Whitham then later came around on a single by Messier, giving Clarkson a 7-0 edge. Nichols began to chip away in the bottom of the fifth, scoring a run on a bases loaded single and another on a sacrifice fly. The Bison then tossed up three unearned runs in the sixth to get within two runs, but the Knights made sure to provide more breathing room in the top of the seventh inning. Brink hit a solo home run to right-center putting Clarkson up 8-5. Nichols got one more run in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice bunt, but Leah Allen wiggled out of the jam by retiring the final hitter on a line out to short. Clarkson had 10 hits in the game, with seven coming from a pair of players. Danielle Whitham was 4-for-4 with three runs batted in and Maddie Brink was 3-for-3 with three runs batted in thanks to a pair of home runs. Leah Allen picked up the win, striking out six in seven frames. The second game saw the team's start slow as the first two and a half innings of the nightcap for the Knights were fairly quiet, but that changed with a three-spot in the bottom of the third. Rylee LeBourveau singled to open the inning and Kayla Robert followed with a homer to put Clarkson on the scoreboard. Clarkson wasn't done in the frame, however, as Hannah Bowen doubled to left-center and came home on a two-out hit by Kyrstin Messier for a 3-0 Clarkson lead. Ohio Wesleyan would score an unearned run in the top of the fifth, but Clarkson broke the game pen in the bottom half of that same inning. Michele Winn singled home Danielle Whitham, who started the inning by reaching on an error. Messier and Sarah Vaccaro each followed Winn's hit with singles of their own, setting up a bases loaded situation for Maddie Brink, who drove in all three and herself with a grand slam, putting Clarkson up 8-1. OWU kept the game from being shortened by stalling Clarkson's offense for the rest of the fifth and the sixth, but could only push three runs across in its final at bat. Home runs accounted for six of Clarkson's runs, as Brink drove in four and Robert pushed two across. Brink was 2-for-4 in the game, joining Vaccaro and Messier with multi-hit games. Olivia Zoeller earned the win striking out six over five innings and allowing just a single unearned run. Riley Page threw the final two frames to finish out the game.