HUNTINGTON, Ind. – As the softball season winds down, it’s only fitting that HU’s three seniors, all of whom have made significant contributions to the program over the last four years, won their last regular season home game Thursday night.
After losing an 11-8 heartbreaker to Grace College that extended 12 innings, Huntington (20-15, 13-9) bounced back to pick a 10-7 victory to seal the win on their home turf.
The Lancers took advantage of three costly HU errors in the 3rd that eventually resulted in five unearned runs to dominate their hosts, 7-2, early on. But starting pitcher Marcie McDougle battled through the 3rd inning debacle to effectively shut down Grace’s offense after that, holding Grace scoreless in regulation while her teammates methodically chipped away at the lead to eventually knot things up by the 7th to send the game into extra innings.
Heading into the 7th down 7-5, the come-back kids gave their fans plenty to cheer about. With two outs, Cristin Carter tripled in a pair of runs on a blast to left to set up what proved to be another five innings of play where the Lancers eventually outlasted Huntington by scoring four runs in the 12th to HU’s one.
Carter finished with two hits and just as many RBI. Annie Weaver pounded out three hits, scored three times and drove in another. Katie DePew was 2-for-6, came in to score twice and tallied an RBI while Emily O’Leary also picked up a pair of hits and took a pitch in the shoulder in the 7th to set the stage for Carter’s big hit.
McDougle never left the mound, giving up 14 hits, 11 runs, six earned, and two walks while striking out 11 for the loss.
The nightcap had a much better ending for the Foresters as they once again found themselves down early, 5-1, after two innings of play but showed great resiliency. They battled back to take a permanent lead of 7-6 in the bottom of the 4th. HU would go on to outscore their visitors 3-1 to extend their lead to three, 10-7, by game’s end.
This time around the roles were reversed as HU took advantage of four Grace errors to score three unearned runs which proved to be the difference in the game. The Foresters also outplayed their visitors offensively, hammering out 17 hits, seven for extra bases, to Grace’s 11.
With only three plate appearances heading into the day, Stephanie Osborn had a break-out game by going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate which included a pair of doubles. Shellabarger also posted three hits to go along with scoring three runs and driving in another. O’Leary finished with two run-scoring doubles while five other Foresters tallied an RBI.
Lea Buckenmyer came in on relief to pick up the win. She pitched the final 5.2 innings and gave up six hits, three runs and two walks while striking out three.
The Foresters hit the road today to face Bethel College.