Urbana University senior outfielder/pitcher Courtney Stewart became the school’s all-time hits leader after recording her 177th career base knock in Saturday’s doubleheader at Blue Knight Softball Field. The Blue Knights split with Glenville State College by taking the first game 8-1 before the Pioneers bounced back with a 10-1 win in the nightcap.
Stewart, a 2016 All-MEC selection, entered the day needing just two hits to break the previous mark of 176 set by Jackie Masur (‘08). The left-handed leadoff hitter did just that with a 2-for-3 performance on a pair of singles in the first game.
In that contest, the Blue Knights scored in each of the first four frames and allowed only one GSC runner to reach third after the second inning.
Second baseman Mykee Holtz ignited the UU offense in the bottom of the first. The true freshman roped a two-out, bases-clearing triple on a full-count pitch to put UU ahead 3-0 while deflating the Pioneers early.
Then, UU scored twice in the second and the third, before tacking on another run in the fourth. GSC scored its only run on a solo home run in the second.
The run support proved more than enough for starter Carly Allen in the circle as the right-hander improved to 5-5. Allen tied her career-high mark for strikeouts with seven and did not walk a batter. She gave up six hits, and only two base knocks across the final five frames.
Four Knights had multi-hit efforts, including Stewart (2-3, RBI), Margo Jackson (3-4, RBI, 2B), Riley Curtis (2-4; RBI), and Courtney Kennedy (2-2; 2 R). UU outhit GSC 10-6 as each team stranded six runners. The Blue Knights did not commit an error while the Pioneers had three defensive miscues.
In the second game, the Pioneers leaped out to an early lead with an 8-0 advantage and UU was never really close. GSC put up five runs in the second inning and totaled four home runs, the most surrendered by UU pitchers in a game this season.
UU scored once in the bottom of the fifth on a Riley Curtis double to center, but the Knights were outhit 12-4. Curtis has now reached base in a team-leading 14 consecutive games.
GSC’s Ally Brown (5-9) earned the win and went 3 for 3 at the plate, while first baseman Mackenzie Smith homered twice.
Stewart (4-6) was tagged with the loss for UU following a short outing (1.2 IP) in the circle.
West Virginia Wesleyan swept UU, 3-1 and 11-0, on Sunday.
UU is now 9-13 overall and 6-8 in league play.