Bucs complete sweep of Temple Round Robin
Freshmen Carney, McKnight play big roles for No. 4 Blinn
TEMPLE, Texas – One day after winning the 600th game of his career, Blinn College softball coach Rick Church began his march toward 700.
A pair of freshmen stepped up to lead the fourth-ranked Buccaneers to a pair of wins at the Temple Round Robin here Saturday, and Blinn completed the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record.
Blinn defeated Grayson County 11-3 in five innings thanks to a grand slam from freshman outfielder Tiffani McKnight and four innings on the pitching rubber from fellow freshman Caitie Carney, then defeated McLennan 3-1 thanks to a two-run blast from McKnight.
Carney improved to 2-0 on the season while bolstering a Buccaneer pitching staff that is playing through an injury to sophomore Jocelyn Tacquard. Carney is playing through an injury suffered after she was hit by a ball on her glove arm during the Blinn Round Robin.
“We’re just trying to get her some innings so she gets her rhythm,” said Blinn coach Rick Church, who claimed the 600th victory of his career on Friday. “Once we’re able to throw her more than four innings in a game she’ll really help us out.”
The Bucs got plenty of help from McKnight, who hit a grand slam in the win over Grayson County, then added a two-out homer in the fifth inning of the win over McLennan that proved the game winner.
“She was wired in today,” Church said. “When we recruited her we knew she had good speed, could slap, could bunt and has good power, so we knew one way or another she’d be good for our offense.”
Shelbe Sterling hit a two-run single in the top of the first to give Blinn an early lead against Grayson County, and the Bucs added three runs in the fourth and six runs in the fifth. Sophomore catcher Brittney Krchnak added an RBI double.
Sophomore Kaci Federwisch (5-3) earned the win against McLennan, striking out seven batters without walking any.
In the fifth inning, Leandra Maly hit a two-out single to set up McKnight’s home run. Blinn added another run off an error in the sixth.
The Buccaneers have won six in a row and 10 of their last 11. They are now 12-4 on the season and will host Trinity Valley Community College for a 3 p.m. double-header at Hohlt Park on Tuesday.