MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Up against unarguably the best pitcher in the league in Natalie Newell, the Forester softball team split with Bethel College (18-14) Friday afternoon to move to 21-16 overall.
Both teams have tallied 14 wins in conference play but HU has ten losses to Bethel’s eight to sit in 3rd, one spot behind the Pilots in the league standings.
Huntington won game one 3-1, scoring two runs in its first at-bat to not only take a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished but also chase Newell off the mound after just one frame.
Annie Weaver, currently ranked 4th in the league in batting average (.446), led off with a single to left and eventually came around to score on a Katie Knous RBI-groundout. Bess Fiechter registered HU’s only other hit of the inning to knock in Lindsay Shellabarger who had worked a base on balls earlier in the frame.
Three innings later, Emily O’Leary opened up play with her team’s fourth hit of the contest to set the stage for another Forester run but it was Courtney Sliger, O’Leary’s pinch runner, who made her way around the bases by way of a sacrifice bunt, wild pitch and passed ball to push the lead to 3-0.
Bethel got one back in the 6th but it would be the only run HU pitcher Emily Puterbaugh gave up. She went the distance for the complete-game victory, giving up five hits, one run and one walk while striking out six.
Weaver paced HU offensively by going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Newell got the best of Huntington in the nightcap by limiting her visitors to just one run, a solo shot by freshman Stephanie Osborn, to guide the Pilots to a 5-1 win. The Foresters finished with four hits which included Osborn’s first collegiate four-dinger and singles by Knous, Fiechter and Cristin Carter.
Bethel scored all five of its runs against losing pitcher Ariel Sheets who tossed the first 4.1 inning, giving up four hits, five runs and two walks while striking out two before being relieved by Lea Buckenmyer who provide 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
HU has a break until Tuesday when they travel to Goshen College for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader.