HUNTINGTON, Ind. – Kaitlyn Troyer’s base-clearing double to center in the bottom of the fifth proved to be the game-winning poke that lifted the HU softball team past the Knights of Marian University, 8-7, in the opener Monday afternoon.
After falling behind 1-0, HU rallied back to tie things up in the third when Katie DePew knocked in Natalie McGuire who had singled earlier in the frame. Things looked bleak for HU as the Knights opened up the fourth with a solo shot that tagged the top of the scoreboard on their way to a four-run inning to take a comfortable 5-1 lead.
But a resilient Forester squad relied on timely hitting to make an outrageous comeback. The rally started in their half of the fourth when Troyer doubled in a pair of runs and then Annie Weaver tallied an RBI on a sacrifice fly to close the gap to one at 5-4.
Lea Buckenmyer worked a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth and then Huntington went back to work offensively. With bases loaded, Bess Fiechter pounded out a run-scoring single to tie things up before Troyer cashed in on her second double of the day to plate three more runs and give her team an 8-5 lead.
The Knights came raging back in the seventh to score two runs but their two-out rally was too little too late as a ground out brought abrupt end to the game.
Troyer finished with a pair of doubles that landed her five RBI. Katie Knous and McGuire also pounded out two hits. McGuire collected two RBI along the way while Fiechter, Weave and DePew each added a run-scoring hit.
Buckenmyer, who came in on relief for Marcie McDougle after 3.2 innings, notched the win. She gave up six hits and two runs in 3.1 innings on the mound.
The Foresters’ bats went cold in the nightcap as they managed only six hits to suffer a 4-0 loss to the Knights who exploded for three runs in their first at-bats and never looked back. They would go on to tack another run on in the sixth as HU left six batters stranded and never found home plate.
Weaver finished a perfect 3-for-3 to pace HU offensively while Lindsey Shellabarger, Emily O’Leary and Cristin Carter were the only other Foresters to register a hit.
Emily Puterbaugh took the loss for HU. She went the distance and gave up nine hits, four runs and a walk while striking out three.
The Foresters (11-8, 4-2) take the field again today at 3:00 p.m. to face Goshen College.