MARION, Ind. – Down by eight runs, the third-seeded Forester softball team (27-20) mounted an incredible comeback to pull within one of the Pilots but their rally fell short as they suffered an 8-7 loss to second-seeded Bethel College in second round action of the Crossroad League tournament Wednesday afternoon at Wildcat Field.
With this loss, HU drops into the consolation bracket where they will face No. 8 Marion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at Taylor University.
The Foresters dug a hole for themselves that proved too insurmountable to overcome but Katie Knous and crew didn’t go down without a fight. The senior shortstop scored her team’s first run in the bottom of the third on a Pilot error and then with one mighty swing, Knous pulled her team within three at 8-5 when she cleared the bases with a grand slam over the left field fence in the following frame.
Huntington made one final push in the bottom of the sixth, again behind the bat of Knous. After Katie DePew was hit by a pitch and Bess Fiechter registered an infield single, Knous doubled to deep left-center to drive in both runners to narrow the gap to just one with only one out.
Unfortunately, the rally was cut short as the league’s best pitcher in Natalie Newell came in on relief to maneuver the Pilots out of the sixth. She went on to retire the next three batters in the seventh to send the Foresters packing.
Knous knocked in six runs with her four-bagger and double and scored twice to pace Huntington offensively. The top of the order in Annie Weaver, DePew and Fiechter each picked up a pair of hits and combined to score HU’s other five runs.
The Pilots sifted through three Forester pitchers with Ariel Sheets taking the loss. She started for Huntington and gave up four hits and four runs before being replaced by Lea Buckenmyer in the opening frame. Buckenmyer took the mound for 1.2 innings and surrendered five hits and four runs before Marcie McDougle closed out the contest. McDougle limited Bethel to just one hit in the final 4.2 innings.