For the second time this season, the Raven Softball team picked up back-to-back shutouts. This time, those shutouts led to a Heart cross-divisional sweep over Graceland University (17-26, 9-21 Heart) as Benedictine (21-14, 13-19 Heart) earn a 5-0 and 8-0 win over the Yellowjackets.
Nikki McNeil earned the start in the opener and threw a complete-game for her three shutout of the season. She scattered four hits over seven innings of work with five strikeouts.
At the plate, the Ravens picked up four doubles of the bats of Melanie Braun, Rita Maslanka, Chris Flucke and Cairney Meade. Braun added two RBIs while Lindsey Profitt added two. Maslanka accounted for the remaining run with five different Ravens scoring a run.
In the second game, the Ravens used a seven-run fifth inning to end the game early. After a double by Molly Chevelier got the scoring started, Courtney Parker connected on a three-run home run to break the game open. Braun plated two on a double that gave the Ravens their run-rule lead.
Alex Gilham earned the start inside the circle and held the Yellowjackets to just three hits over five innings.
The two wins allow Benedictine to move into the 10th spot in the overall Heart standings based off winning percentage. As a result, the Ravens are hold the final qualifying position into the 2017 Heart Softball Championship Series.
The Ravens were scheduled to travel to Marshall, Mo., today for a doubleheader against Missouri Valley College but those games have been postponed to Friday. The Ravens are scheduled to travel to Evangel on Saturday and then return home for Senior Day on Sunday. If Mother Nature prevents any of the remaining doubleheaders from being played, the Ravens have met the required 28 conference games played to be eligible for the Heart Championship Series.