GRINNELL - The Grinnell College softball team celebrated its first home game of the 2012 season Saturday in historic, and thrilling, fashion.
The Pioneers, who had lost 39 consecutive contests dating back to May 3, 2010, snapped that skid with an 8-5 victory over Wartburg College of the Iowa Conference at the Softball Complex. Grinnell pounded out 14 hits in the winning effort.
Wartburg won the second game of the twin bill 9-1. Grinnell is now 1-7 on the season, while Wartburg is 5-17.
In the first game, Aniela Wendt ’14 and Jayme Wiebold ’12 had three hits apiece for Grinnell while Summer Wilke ’15, Amanda Stromquist ’12 and Aiyana Turpen-Scott ’14 had two.
Stromquist earned the pitching win, scattering five hits and just one earned run over 5 2/3 innings.
The Pioneers managed two hits in the first inning, but didn’t score a run. The hits were a sign of things to come, though, and the hosts broke the game open in the second frame.
With two out, Turpen-Scott singled to right field, Lindsay Fujimoto ’15 walked and Wendt hit an infield single to load the bases.
An error allowed all runners to advance and Wilke hit a single to center, plating two more runs. Wiebold followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.
Wartburg managed a run in the fifth, but Grinnell responded with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Turpen-Scott led off with a single to right. After a strikeout, Wendt sent Turpen-Scott to third with a double to left-center.
Wilke then hit an RBI single to center and Wiebold plated a run with a single to right. Christina Colver ’13 later drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk and Jennifer Fulton ’15 knocked in another run.
Wartburg made things interesting by scoring four runs in the top of the seventh, but Grinnell shut the door as Colver fielded a grounder at third with two out and threw a bullet to first for the third out, sending the Pioneers into celebration.
In the second game, Wartburg shot out to a 3-0 lead in the first, made it 5-0 in the third and scored solo runs in the fourth and fifth to make it 7-0.
Grinnell’s lone run came in the bottom of the fifth when Fulton led off with an infield single, moved to second on Jessica Menary’s sacrifice bunt, took third on a passed ball and scored on Wendt’s RBI single to left.
Grinnell travels to Cedar Rapids Wednesday to face Coe College. The twin bill begins at 3 p.m.