Wesleyan softball back in Elite Eight

Staff Photo: John Bohn Wesleyan's Landyn Duley (13) runs from second to third base during the second inning against Bremen the second round state softball championships played Wednesday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Wesleyan's Landyn Duley (13) runs from second to third base during the second inning against Bremen the second round state softball championships played Wednesday.


Staff Photo: John Bohn Wesleyan pitcher Dacia Jones (6) pitches to Bremen during the first inning of the second round of the state softball championships.


Staff Photo: John Bohn Wesleyan's Katie Frerking (17) celebrates scoring a run with teammate pitcher Dacia Jones (6) during the third inning against Bremen in the second round of the state softball championships played Wednesday.

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NORCROSS -- No matter who she was facing or what the situation was, Landyn Duley seemed to come up with a hit.

The Wesleyan sophomore scored the first run of the day for the Wolves and the final insurance run in Game 2 against Bremen as Wesleyan swept the Blue Devils with a 9-1 win in Game 1 and a 4-0 victory in Game 2. The sweep advances Wesleyan to the Class A state tournament in Columbus next week. It is just the third time in the school's history and first since 2008 when just two members of this year's team, Caitlin Crabill and Holli Wilkins, were freshmen.

"(This is a big accomplishment) especially at a school like Wesleyan where we have kids playing three sports," said head coach Nichole Dixon, who is also a basketball assistant. "It makes it more fun."

The Wolves had plenty of fun despite the cold weather after securing the sweep Wednesday night. Players took pictures in every combination on the field after the game including with a sign that said Columbus Bound.

"I love this team," Duley said. "It was really fun. This is a great group."

It was Duley, batting lead off, who got the runs started in the Game 1 rout. She singled in the first and her first of two doubles on the night in the third led to Wesleyan's first run when Victoria DiStasi singled in Duley and Katie Frerking. Duley would go on to crank out a 6-for-9 night with four runs scored, an RBI and a pair of doubles. She got at least one hit off all four Bremen pitchers.

"I just hit it," the sophomore Duley said. "It wasn't that hard. Hitting their second pitcher was a challenge."

It took Duley one time facing Bremen's Summer Wallace before she found her way on base.

"She has really peaked," Dixon said. "She has played a whole lot more baseball than she has softball. I am amazed at the way she has hit."

Wesleyan used a six-run fourth inning to cruise to its Game 1 win. Bremen scored its only run in the top of the fifth after loading the bases with no outs. But CaraMia Tsirigos picked a runner off third base to cut the rally short and keep the big lead for Wesleyan.

Dacia Jones picked up the win, allowing one run over six innings with five walks and three hits. Her only trouble came in the run-scoring fifth and when she allowed a pair of hits in the second.

The second game was quieter on offense, but it didn't matter with Amanda DeLaPerrierre pitching.

She didn't allow a Bremen hit until the fifth inning of her complete-game win. She gave up just four hits in the game, walked two and struck out five. Her biggest strikeout came with two on and one out in the sixth inning, when she blew a pitch past Kaleigh Medlin to help escape trouble. She struck out her final batter in the day's last inning with a runner on first base.

"She is another kid who is peaking at the right time," Dixon said. "She was hitting her spots. She is calm and under control in pressure situations."

It helps having a solid defense and a lead. Along with Duley's endless production, Frerking homered in Game 2, Tsirigos added an RBI double and Crabill punctuated the win with an RBI triple to score, of course, Duley.

Wesleyan now gets a week off before returning to Columbus, but a week is worth the wait after four years.

"It would be nice to keep playing," Dixon said. "We seem to do better when we play game after game after game, which is why I am excited about going to Columbus."