MARION, Ind. - The HU softball team opened up league play in convincing fashion Friday afternoon as they cruised past Indiana Wesleyan University 8-1 in game one before be edged out by the Wildcats in the nightcap 8-7.
After playing small ball through the first three innings of the opener to find themselves in a 1-0 hole, the Foresters came alive in the fourth. Seven of HU’s first eight batter logged a hit to pound out six runs for a comfortable 6-1.
Annie Weaver drilled a triple down the right field line to open up play. Two teammates in Emily O’Leary and Natalie McGuire also posted extra base hits with O’Leary’s double knocking in a pair of runs. Katie DePew, Katie Knous and Bess Fiechter posted run-scoring singles to account for HU’s other three runs in the frame.
Huntington tacked on two more runs in the seventh with O’Leary driving in her third RBI of the day on a single to the pitcher’s mound just after DePew, who had singled earlier in the inning, scored on a wild pitch.
Emily Puterbaugh scattered eight hits and allowed just one run for the complete-game win. She issued just one walk while striking out four.
Lindsey Shellabarger finished 3-for-4 from the plate and scored two runs while four other Foresters registered two hits in the lopsided win.
After struggling offensively through the opener, the Wildcats worked out the kinks in the nightcap to outhit HU 13-11 and hang on for the one-run victory.
IWU cashed in on ten hits through the first three innings which included a two-run blast by Emily Sell in the second to take a convincing 7-1 lead. HU’s only run through the early innings came when Fiechter doubled in O’Leary who had been hit by a pitch in the top of the second.
While it looked merely like an insurance run for the Wildcats in the fifth, it turned out to be the game-winner as the Foresters mounted a fast and furious comeback that ended just short of a heroic finish.
The rally started in the sixth when HU erupted for four runs. Kaitlyn Troyer and Weaver ignited the scoring frenzy with back-to-back singles. DePew knocked in Troyer with a single up the middle and then Shellabarger torched one out of the park but was called out for failing to touch home plate. After all the dust had settled, Shellabarger was credited with two RBI but her dinger was nullified. Katie Knous followed up with a long ball of her own to pull her team within two at 8-5.
Knous came up big again in the final frame when she knocked in two more runs on a single to left center but that’s where the scoring ended to make for the 8-7 finish.
Marcie McDougle took the loss on the mound. She pitched the first 2.2 innings and scattered nine hits and seven runs while striking out one before giving way to Lea Buckenmyer who tossed the final 3.1 innings and gave up four hits and a run.
Knous topped HU offensively with two hits and three RBI. Weaver, Knous, Fiechter and Troyer also posted two hits.