Asbury Athletics at a glance

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

Submitted Article

 

It was spring break on the Asbury campus this week, but not on the athletics field. AU teams competed in 20 events over the week. The tennis team came back with a perfect record in Hilton Head, as AU track and field hosted its first-ever home meet on the completed phase one complex in Wilmore. Baseball and softball both traveled during their weeks and picked up wins.

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Mens and womens tennis

Asbury womens tennis (3-0) stayed undefeated with a 9-0 win and AU mens tennis (2-2) won their second straight match (8-1), as both teams beat the University of Lynchburg for a sweep on Monday afternoon in the first day of spring break competition in Hilton Head, S.C. The Asbury women’s team took all three doubles matches with 8-2 scores, led by Ariadna Zegarra, Megan Moore, Martina Paillet, Fernanda Heredia, Mikaela West and Kourtney Kawata. The Eagles went on to win all six singles matches as well, highlighted by Malory Watkins sweeping both sets in her No. 6 match (6-0, 6-0). Mikaela West (No. 5) and Fernanda Heredia (No.4) also had impressive singles wins, only giving up one game apiece in their matches. For the men’s team it was Franco Patino and Ignacio Ardiles taking a key 8-7 doubles victory in the No. 1 matchup to give Asbury the lead after doubles. Alejandro Caceres and Gregorio Bustingorri collected a strong 8-1 win also in doubles. AU swept all six singles matches highlighted by Alejandro Caceres, who took a tiebreak win over Lynchburg (2-6, 6-3, 1-0). Franco Patino, Ben Moore, Andres Caceres, Ignacio Ardiles, and Ignacio Murillo all contributed wins for the Eagles.

Asbury tennis continued their spring break success on Wednesday in Hilton Head, S.C, taking a 5-4 over LeTourneau University and a 7-0 sweep over Messiah University for the womens team (5-0), while the mens team (4-2) grabbed a 7-2 win against LeTourneau and a 7-1 win over Messiah. Ariadna Zegarra and Fernanda Heredia took a key win in No. 1 doubles against LeTourneau, as well as Martina Paillet and Mikaela West taking the No. 3 doubles match. In singles against LeTourneau it was Megan Moore, Mikaela West (tiebreaker), and Kourtney Kawata taking clutch wins to seal the AU win.Malory Watkins grabbed a No. 5 singles match win against Messiah as AU swept the match, led by Mikaela West and Olivia Rogowski taking an 8-1 doubles win. Alejandro Caceres and Gregorio Bustingorri powered their way to an 8-1 No. 3 doubles win alongside Caceres and Andres Caceres and Ben Moore grabbing an 8-5 No. 2 doubles win against LeTourneau. The Eagles won five of the six singles matchups, Alejandro Caceres and Ignacio Ardiles taking tiebreak wins. Ignacio Murillo took a 6-2, 6-1 singles win in the No. 6 match. AU grabbed all three doubles matches against Messiah, led by an 8-1 No. 3 match win from Ignacio Murillo and Yuri Tirado. Ben Moore and Ignacio Murillo powered AU to win four of the five singles matches played. 

Taking wins number seven and eight in a row in Hilton Head., Asbury mens tennis (5-2) and womens tennis (6-0) grabbed five tie-breaks to secure 7-2 and 6-3 wins over Gettysburg College on Thursday evening. Asbury womens tennis took two of the three doubles matches with Ariadna Zegarra and Fernanda Heredia grabbing a key 8-6 doubles win over Gettysburg, backed up by Kourtney Kawata and Mikaela West winning 8-7 in No. 3 doubles. The Eagles men’s tennis team grabbed two of the three doubles matches as well, powered by No. 1 singles duo Ignacio Ardiles and Franco Patino taking an 8-6 win. No. 3 doubles team Alejandro Caceres and Gregorio Bustingorri also grabbed a win, 8-5. 

Asbury mens tennis (6-2) and womens tennis (7-0) completed the Hilton Head week sweep (10-0), winning the womens’ match 8-1 and the men’s match 7-2 on Friday evening against Illinois Tech. The Eagles began the run last Thursday at Brevard College taking a road win, then won two matches Monday, four matches Wednesday, two matches Thursday, and now two matches Friday to win their last 12 matches combined. The AU women’s team remains 7-0 in the 2024 season while the men’s squad moves to 6-2.

 

Baseball

Senior Kaden Dugle blasted a grand slam over the left field wall in the fifth inning on Tuesday night to lift Asbury baseball (7-5) over New Jersey City University (2-2) at the Lexington Legends Field.AU had double-digit hits in the game for the fourth time this season, and was flawless on defense with no errors for the fourth time in 2024. Sophomore Jack Morris took his first win of the year for AU, going 4.2 innings out of the bullpen with no runs and four strikeouts. 

Moving to three home runs in the last two games, Dugle homered twice on Thursday afternoon despite Asbury baseball (7-6) coming up just short to Rhodes College (10-8) in their first game of three in Memphis, Tn., on spring break week, 5-6. AU led 4-0 until Rhodes put up four in the fourth to tie the game. Dugle’s second home run gave the Eagles a 5-4 lead in the ninth, before Rhodes scored two in the ninth to walk-off the game. Asbury freshman right-hander Ryan Yates came out of the bullpen in the third to give 4.1 innings of scoreless work. 

Sophomore Andrew Billington’s three hits and graduate student Noah Brown’s three-RBI double in the eighth came up just short for Asbury baseball (7-7) as they fell in the bottom of the ninth for the second straight day in Memphis, this time to Maryville College, 8-9. AU came back from trailing 6-2 to take an 8-7 lead in the eighth off a Noah Brown bases loaded double to clear the bases. Maryville used four of their 13 hits in the bottom of the ninth to walk the game off. 

Graduate student right-hander Jackson Cole struck out six in six innings during his fourth start of the season, but the Asbury baseball (7-8) offense was not able to keep up with Grinnell (6-6) on Saturday in Memphis, Tn., slipping 2-4. Adam Thompson came out of the bullpen for two innings of scoreless work for AU. Kaden Dugle had two hits for Asbury and a run scored. Quinn Nobles had a triple during the day.

 

Softball

 

Freshman Emily Zink and sophomore Natalie Ison each homered on Tuesday afternoon as Asbury softball (5-5) took two wins over Edison State (3-2) in Wilmore. The Eagles took game one 9-3 and game two 10-1 with 21 total hits on the day and only two errors. Natlaie Ison went 2 for 2 in game two with a home run and three runs scored. Zink hit a grand slam in game one and had a walk. Taylor Enlow had four hits on the day and pitched a complete game in game one with two strikeouts, four hits and one walk. Samantha Bottom had three extra-base hits. Emma Popplewell had two hits in both games. 

Freshman Abigail Moffat had four hits while Enlow had six RBIs to lead Asbury softball (6-6) to a comeback win over Anderson University (1-1), splitting the doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon in Wilmore. .After slipping in game one, 4-2, the Eagles climbed back from being down 4-0 to walk-off the game with an Abby Moffatt double in the bottom of the seventh, taking a 9-8 win in game two.

Asbury softball (6-7) traveled to Elizabethtown to compete in the Transy Pioneer Classic on Friday afternoon. After previously splitting a home doubleheader, the Eagles faced Anderson University (2-2) again for the first game of the classic. After late efforts by Asbury, they ultimately fell to Anderson 4-2, while putting up six hits. Asbury’s second game against Transylvania was canceled due to weather. Enlow led the Eagles, going 3-3 at the plate with a stolen base. Enlow also pitched for Asbury, collecting a strikeout on the day. Asbury’s two runs came from hits by Ison and Zink in the top of the sixth. Popplewell hit her third double of the year in the top of the second for AU’s first hit of the game. The Eagles collected six hits, with Enlow having three of them.

Asbury softball (6-9) continued their competition in the Transy Pioneer Classic on Sunday afternoon, for a double-header against Hanover and Adrian. Despite producing double-digit hits on the day, the Eagles would ultimately fall to late-game pushes by both opponents, losing 4-3 to Anderson and 10-9 to Adrian. 

Asbury produced at the plate on Sunday, out-hitting Hanover 7-5. Despite out-hitting the Ravens, AU’s runs were scored from a walk and opponent errors. Zink and Bottom helped lead AU in game one, each recording two hits a piece. In game two against Adrian, the Eagles found themselves down by nine with three innings to go. AU had an explosive fifth inning, scoring nine runs to tie the game. Enlow began the fifth-inning drive for AU, with a single to bring home Bottom. Ison hit her third bomb of the year, scoring three more runs, right after Enlow. 

 

Mens and womens track and field

 

Asbury track and field debuted the new, completed phase one track and field venue in a four-school meet on Saturday, with the opening shot fired by Asbury’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships, Dr. Mark Troyer. The men’s and women’s displayed stellar times and performances, with both finishing runner-up in the meet, out of four schools. With about a year under their belt, AU’s track and field, led by head coach O’Brian Bridges, had great performances on all sides of the track. Freshman John Rahbany broke the school record for the 100m with a time of 11.56 and his jump of 6.46m (21-2.5ft) qualified him for the NCCAA Outdoor National Championships. Bailey Gassmann picked up victories in both the 1500m and 3000m runs. Gassmann’s time in the 1500m (5:02.66) qualifies her for the NCCAA Outdoor National Championships as well. The Eagles picked up seven wins on the day, with various personal and school records set.