SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - Less than 24 hours after splitting with Saint Francis, HU (26-19, 18-12) hit the road to face Spring Arbor in their last regular season outing where they traded wins with the Cougars to finish in a tie with Bethel for second in the league standings.
Since both teams finished 18-12 in league play, the tiebreaker went to head-to-head competition. They split 1-1 in the regular season so the second tiebreaker was the run differential head-to-head. Bethel defeated Huntington 5-1 and Huntington defeated Bethel 3-1; therefore, BC received the No. 2 seed and HU received the No. 3 seed.
The Foresters took SAU to nine innings in the opener but fell short, 2-1, before bouncing with a convincing 7-1 win in the nightcap.
Head coach Deb Thompson couldn’t have scripted a better way to notch her 700th career win in the opener as Savannah Weaver’s walk-off homerun in the bottom of the ninth ended a long, hard fought battle.
Emily Puterbaugh pitched a gem but was charged with the loss. Before Weaver’s four-bagger, Puterbaugh had only given up five hits and two walks while striking out nine.
HU managed seven hits but struggled to string together any sort of rally until the sixth when Shellabarger knocked in DePew who had singled earlier in the inning for the visitors’ only run of the contest. DePew finished with two hits to pace her team offensively.
The nightcap was a different story as HU jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and never looked back.
The Foresters sent seven batters to the plate in the first frame with Katie Knous and Cristin Carter each logging a two-run RBI-single. Kaitlyn Troyer made it a 5-0 advantage in the second when she blasted one over the center field fence, her first dinger of the year.
HU piled on another run in the third by way of an Emily O’Leary RBI-single before the Cougars finally got on the board in the fourth. Bess Fiechter touched home one more time for the visitors in the fifth. After doubling to deep left-center, she eventually came around to score on a wild pitch to wrap up the game’s scoring.
Ariel Sheets limited Spring Arbor to just five hits and one run to pick up the complete-game victory. With this win, she improves to 6-4 on the mound.
Knous led HU offensively with two hits, two runs scored and two RBI.
The No. 3 Foresters will travel to Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday to face No. 6 Spring Arbor at 11:00 a.m. in first round action of the Crossroads League tournament.