Walters, Belloni anchor Falcons’ sweep at Kansas Wesleyan

Friends Athletics
Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director

SALINA – Hali Walters (SO/Longmont, Colo.) won the first game and recorded the save in the second game, while Shelby Belloni (SR/Denver, Colo. ) had four RBIs in the opener along with a combined four hits to lead the Friends University Falcons to a sweep of the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes tonight (Mar. 20) in Salina, Kan.

The opening game saw the Falcons do the bulk of their damage in the second inning, when a two-run single by Belloni and an RBI hit from Isabella Gonzalez (SR/Bakersfield, Calif.) sparked a five-run frame.

Belloni wasn’t through and drove in two more of her career-high tying four runs in a three-run sixth inning for Friends. Mackenzie Nichols (SR/Columbus, Ohio) also singled and scored on passed ball in the inning.

That was more than enough run support for Walters, who gave the Coyotes just one run and struck out three over seven innings to notch her team-leading fifth win of the season.

Gonzalez, Nichols and Belloni each had three hits for the Falcons, with Gonzalez and Nichols also scoring a pair of runs.

KWU starter Tara Stubits struck out four in her seven innings and was charged with just three earned runs thanks to four Coyote errors.

The Falcons then started the nightcap in positive fashion, as an RBI single by Savannah Jackson (FR/Ramona, Calif. ) and RBI double from Renee Downey (JR/Modesto, Calif.) keyed a three-run first inning.

Leading 3-1 in the fifth, Kylie Fox (SR/Wichita, Kan. ) doubled home two runs to cap a four-run inning to give the Falcons a 7-1 lead.

After a two-run double by Alyssa Garza helped the Coyotes score three runs in the bottom of the frame, Fox tripled and scored a valuable insurance tally in the top of the seventh.

Things got dicey in the bottom of the seventh when Samantha Banda hit a two-run homer that brought the Coyotes within two runs and still no outs.

But Walters would come on and extinguish the rally, retiring the next three hitters to finish off the sweep and pick up her first career save.

Fox went 2-of-3 for the Falcons in the second game, with Belloni picking up two more hits and Jackson also driving in a pair of runs.

Alicia Dunagan (SR/Douglass, Kan.) started game two for Friends (9-12, 2-2 KCAC) and was credited with the win after going 4.1 innings and giving up two earned runs. Ashlyn Jacobs (SO/Wichita, Kan. ) then pitched two scoreless innings before allowing the two-run homer in the seventh.

Stubits also started the second game for KWU (7-11, 0-2 KCAC) and lasted 6.2 innings, with four strikeouts and two earned runs allowed. She also had two hits in four at-bats for the Coyotes.

The Falcons will next be at (RV) McPherson College Saturday afternoon (Mar. 23) starting at 1 pm in McPherson, Kan.

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