PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. - Despite playing four games over the course of the last two days, the Ashford softball team showed they still had some fuel left in the tank on Monday.
Ashford pounded five home runs on the day, winning the opening game, 3-2 and rallying from six runs down to take the second game, 9-8.
Freshman Alex Bitto smacked her first two career home runs as a Saint and Britnee Dobbs cracked her third home run in the last two games to fuel the Ashford attack. Freshman Emily Whetstone and senior Kelly Dotzler also went yard for the Saints in game two.
In the circle, freshman Megan Frieling was lights out for the Saints, tossing a complete game in the opener and picking up the win in relief in the second game, allowing three runs in 10 innings pitched.
"Meg was outstanding today," Head Coach Kevin Jannusch said. "We needed a big performance in the circle and she provided it, twice. Her last four outings have been her best of the season. She pitched like a veteran today for sure"
Game One - Ashford 3, Trinity Christian 2
The two squads would remain silent until the top of the third, when Ashford pounced first. After Rachel Hong singled, Dobbs stepped to the plate and deposited a pitch over the wall to give Ashford a 2-0 lead.
Frieling would battle out of a jam in the bottom of the third, getting a groundout with runners on second and third to end the threat.
After the two squads couldn't muster any offense in the fourth, Bitto stepped to the plate to lead off the fifth and drove a pitch out of the park for her first career long ball to make it 3-0 Ashford.
But the Trolls would show some life in the sixth, getting a pair of runs on an RBI single and wild pitch to make the game interesting at 3-2.
But Frieling would slam the door shut in the seventh, propelling the Saints to a win in the opener.
Frieling, a Lansing, Ill.-native, earned her ninth win of the year, giving up two runs on four hits, striking out one batter.
Brianna Brugioni took the loss for Trinity Christian, giving up three runs on eight hits, walking two and fanning four.
Game Two - Ashford 9, Trinity Christian 8
The Trolls would be the first to strike in the second game, getting a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly and a double steal that saw one player take home for the early 2-0 lead.
After a Trinity solo shot in the second, the Saints would get on the board thanks to Bitto, who cranked her second blast of the day to bring the Saints to within 3-1.
But the Trolls appeared to be ready to put the game out of reach, getting three runs in the third on three hits and three Ashford errors.
Trinity stretched their lead to 7-1 in the fourth when an error by Christine Ho at shortstop allowed another runner to cross the dish.
Despite the trouble the Saints were having in the field, they showed they were more than able to make up for it at the plate. In the fifth, Dotzler led off with her second dinger of the year to pull the Saints within 7-2.
Ashford used the long ball to their advantage again in the sixth when Whetstone stepped to the plate and smacked her team-leading fifth home run of the year with two on, bringing the Saints to within 7-5.
Feeling the heat from the visiting squad, the Trolls would put another on the board in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a passed ball, taking a seemingly comfortable 8-5 lead into the final frame.
But the Ashford bats would have the final say in the outcome of the second game. The rally started when Payton Geeting singled home pinch runner Kara Christensen to cut the lead to 8-6.
After loading the bases, Hong stepped up at the plate and singled home a pair of runners to even up the game with one out.
After a force play at home left the bases loaded and two outs, junior Hailey Hall delivered the winning run for Ashford when she knocked Hong home with a single, giving the Saints their first lead of game two.
Frieling once again closed the door in the seventh, striking out the final batter to earn her 10th win of the year, tossing three innings of one run ball in relief.
"I am thrilled with our confidence in our hitters," Jannusch said. "You just don't expect a young team to do this game after game. We've been able to come back in several games this season, but today might have been to most runs we've scored in our last inning to win it. I am very proud of all of our hitters."
Jayme Love took the loss for the Trolls in a complete game effort. She allowed six earned runs on 12 hits, walking two and striking out one.
With the wins, Ashford moves to 18-14 on the year. Trinity Christian falls to 4-21 on the 2012 campaign.
After a well deserved day off, the Saints will welcome Midwest Collegiate Conference-foe Grand View to Clinton on Wednesday evening. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m at Eagle Heights Elementary Field.