SLU Baseball and Softball Sweep Weekend


Apr. 14-16 was a good weekend for Billiken fans with back-to-back-to-back wins for both softball and baseball. Softball took care of business against Fordham University, holding the Rams to 0 runs, twice, and surviving a near-comeback to secure the sweep. Meanwhile, baseball beat Saint Joseph’s by more runs with each game, outscoring the Hawks 28-16 over the three-game series. 


Baseball’s standouts included sophomore outfielder Patrick Clohisy, freshman shortstop Austin Neuweg, sophomore second baseman Ethan Sitzman, sophomore outfielder Hayden Moore and senior designated hitter and first baseman Cam Redding. Clohisy earned his third A-10 Player of the Week award in the year, his second in a row, for his efforts over the weekend. His performance included 8 hits, 5 RBIs (runners batted in), 2 stolen bases and 6 putouts. The lefty is second in the conference in RBIs with 44, trailing VCU’s Brandon Eike by 7. Clohisy is third in bases stolen, at 17 on the season so far as well as third in hits at 58. A month after his Rookie of the Week selection, Neuweg provided 1 hit, 2 RBIs, 4 putouts and 8 assists over the weekend. The rookie infielder is fifth in the conference in assists, with 89 on the season, the highest among freshmen. Sitzman delivered in on both sides of the plate, delivering 5 hits, 4 RBIs, 6 putouts and 10 assists. Sitzman leads the conference in assists with 113, 11 ahead of VCU’s William Bean. Sitzman also holds the A-10’s fourth best batting average at .377, with an on base percentage of .488 which is second only to Davidson junior Ryan Wilson’s .519. Hayden Moore started the weekend slow but showed out on Sunday. After only one at-bat and a single putout across Friday and Saturday, Moore signed, sealed and delivered in game 3 for 2 hits, 2 RBIs, and 4 putouts. Moore holds the conference’s fifth best on base percentage at .477, .010 ahead of SJU’s leader, Ryan Cesarini. Redding had the best game of his season on Saturday, in which he slammed a season-high 2 home runs and brought in a career-high 6 RBIs on 3 hits. Redding finished the weekend with 5 hits, 8 RBIs and 7 putouts. All 7 putouts came on Sunday after moving from designated hitter to first base.


Softball’s success came in large part from contributions by sophomore first baseman Jane Kaniecki, freshman outfielder Ashley Marietta, graduate outfielder Gabbie Kowalik, freshman shortstop Chloe Rhine, junior second baseman Jocelyn Abbot and graduate catcher Kelsey Etling. Kaniecki gave the Bills 6 hits, 4 RBIs and 18 putouts through the series. Her second RBI on Friday won the game for the Bills. Rookie of the Week winner, Ashley Marietta, had 6 hits, 5 RBIs, 6 putouts and an assist during the weekend which included her second career home run, a grand slam worth half of SLU’s runs on Friday. Kowalik had 4 hits, 6 putouts and 2 stolen bases on the weekend. Kowalik leads the A-10 in on-base percentage at .521, runs scored with 44, and hits by pitches with 12. On top of that she’s second in batting average at .420, slugging percentage with .659, OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage) at 1.180 and total hits with 58. That’s not all, Kowalik is fourth in the conference in RBIs at 33 and stolen bases with 22. Kowalik’s reliability and effectiveness have been huge for the Bills this season, which is why she earned Co-Player of the Week honor in March alongside Rhode Island’s Skylar Rapuano. Chloe Rhine had 1 hit, 2 RBIs, 5 putouts and 3 assists, most of her offensive impact on display Sunday, with her third career home run keeping the Billikens ahead, holding off Fordham’s 3-run 7th inning. Rhine is currently sixth in RBIs at 29, one behind Dayton’s Alyssa Cacini. She also boasts the second most assists in the conference, one short of the leading spot currently held by her teammate Jocelyn Abbot. Abbot had 1 RBI, 1 putout and 7 assists on the weekend. Etling was in the designated hitter slot for the weekend series and provided 3 hits and 3 RBIs, including a single to bring home freshman catcher Abby Mallo on Saturday, which would win the game for the Billikens. 


It would be remiss not to mention the pitching cores of both squads. Junior right-hander Henry Litman opened the weekend for baseball, pitching the first six and one third innings with 5 strikeouts, 0 walks and 9 hits. Litman has the lowest earned run average in the conference with 2.82. He’s tied with VCU’s James Gladden for fewest runs allowed at 18. Ethan Bell took over for Litman to close out Friday afternoon, allowing only one hit to secure his first career save as the Bills won 4-2. Right-handed junior Owen Chaffin started for the Billikens on Saturday, pitching the first five innings. Chaffin struck out two batters and held the Hawks to 5 hits. Chaffin has allowed the fifth fewest runs in the conference at 41, only 4 more than the second place spot held by George Mason’s Ben Shields. Chaffin was relieved by sophomore Jack Weber. This would be a new career high in innings pitched for Weber. He struck out three batters and allowed 4 hits in his four innings pitched, earning his first career save to go along with Bell’s from the day before with a 10-6 Billiken victory. Sophomore Jackson Holmes opened on Sunday, throwing for six and two thirds before freshman Ben Cherico came in. Holmes and Cherico each struck out four batters in the 14-8 Billiken win. 


For softball, it was graduate righty Chloe Wendling who started the weekend. Wendling pitched all six innings, allowing 0 walks for her second shutout of the season, SLU winning 8-0. Senior Kaili Hanner pitched all seven innings on Saturday, allowing only 2 walks and throwing a career high 8 strikeouts in the shutout victory, 1-0. Wendling started on Sunday, throwing five strikeouts but allowing 5 hits. After four and a third, Hanner would relieve her. Hanner pitched 3 strikeouts and allowed 3 runs but was able to survive the Rams’ comeback attempt to secure the SLU victory, 8-7. Wendling is fourth in the conference in strikeouts, having ended 132 at bats in the catcher’s mitt. Hanner is fifth in fewest hits allowed, at 62.


Both teams are close to the top of the A-10’s standings, sitting at second place behind Dayton. For both teams, high-volume offenses have been crucial to their success. Softball has outscored conference opponents 111-48, winning 12 of 16 conference matchups so far. Meanwhile baseball has also massively outscored conference opposition 82-45 going 8-1. Both teams have only lost a conference series to one school, Dayton. Dayton was unable to sweep either team though, and Christy Conoyer, head coach for softball, and Darin Henrikson, head coach for baseball are confident that their squads will make the improvements necessary to flip the script on Dayton once the conference tournament arrives.