Mastodons stomp IUPUI behind big day for Burns


The Fort Wayne softball team put on a hitting clinic as the Mastodons belted three home runs, including two grand slams, as they run-ruled Horizon League foe IUPUI 16-2.

The 16 runs by Fort Wayne are the most since scoring 17 runs against Toledo on April 12, 2011. The also ‘Dons finished the game with 10 hits and 10 walks. Their 10 walks were the most since May 8, 2014 and the three home runs are the most since May 9, 2014.

Leading the way for the Mastodons was Morganne Denny going 3-for-4 including a home run and a double, with two RBIs and two runs scored. Demitra Burns went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and a double, finishing with a team-leading six RBIs. Lauren Watson led the team with three runs score while walking twice. Stephanie Hanic was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Maria Palmegiani also had a grand slam to finish with four RBIs.

Fort Wayne started its scoring in the bottom of the first when Burns doubled to bring home Lacey Wilzbacher. Denny followed with an RBI groundout, allowing Watson to score. After IUPUI scored a run in the top of the second, the ‘Dons responded in a big way in the bottom half. The Mastodons would load the bases with two outs, bringing Burns to the dish. Down 0-2 in the count, she would drive the next pitch deep and over the center field wall for a grand slam and her fourth home run of the season.

The Mastodons scored twice in the third as Denny came home when Hanic stole second and Wilzbacher drove in Hanic on an RBI single.

The ‘Dons blew the door open in the fourth, scoring eight runs, seven of which came with two outs. With one out in the inning and two strikes on Denny, she connected on her fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to center. Later, with two outs the Mastodons loaded the bases. Three consecutive bases loaded walks by Rachel Everson, Watson and Burns brought in three more runs. With the bases still loaded, Palmegiani stepped in and with a 2-2 count, hit her fourth home run of the season, and the second grand slam of the game for the Mastodons.

IUPUI scored a run in the top of the fifth, before Fort Wayne closed the book on the game.

Starting pitcher Shaina Eyre picked up her fifth win of the season, throwing 4 2-3 innings while allowing two runs on three hits and striking out two. Addie Benham came on to record the final out of the game.

Fort Wayne continues its homestand when it begins a Summit League series against South Dakota State with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m. The games will also be the Mastodon’s annual Pink Out event to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

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