FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Huntington softball team moved to 25-18 overall, 17-11 in conference play after splitting with the Cougars of Saint Francis Friday afternoon. The Cougars got the best of HU in game one, 8-4, before the Foresters hung on for a 9-8 win in the nightcap.
Despite rushing out to a 4-1 advantage, the Foresters couldn’t withstand the Cougars’ fourth inning rally that blew the game wide open. USF hammered out three hits and took advantage of two HU errors to plate six runs, only four of which were earned.
After Katie Knous’ RBI-groundout in the first, USF matched that in their half of the frame before Huntington unleashed for three runs in the second which included run-scoring singles by Annie Weaver and Katie DePew. It lasted only two innings as the Cougars got one back in the third before their monster fourth inning.
When all was said and done, errors plagued the Foresters as half of the USF’s runs were of the unearned variety thanks to five HU blunders.
Emily Puterbaugh (6-6) took the loss for HU. Puterbaugh pitched the first four innings and gave up all eight runs and two walks while striking out five before being relieved by Lea Buckenmyer who scattered two hits over the final two innings.
HU managed nine hits behind Weaver who finished 3-for-3 at the plate. She also scored twice and drove in a run. DePew added two hits.
It was a range of emotions for Huntington in the nightcap as they trailed early but came storming back to take a commanding 9-2 lead before USF pieced together a near-epic comeback in the final two innings to pull within one to make for an exciting finish.
Marcie McDougle picked up the complete-game victory. Even more impressive than holding the Cougars in check through the first six innings was McDougle’s ability to calmly work her way out of the seventh after giving up five runs, which included a three-run shot by Alyssa Keller, in the frame. The senior hurler scattered nine hits and issued two walks while striking out three.
It proved to be a slugfest with HU logging 13 hits to USF’s nine. Keller paced the Cougars with a pair of homers and five RBI while Huntington relied on Katie Knous and Natalie McGuire, each of whom hammered out three hits. Knous scored a run and drove in three more while McGuire touched home twice to go along with an RBI. DePew, Lindsay Shellabarger, Bess Fiechter and Emily O’Leary also tallied an RBI to help the cause.