Going up against 4th-ranked Bethel College, the Forester softball
team (12-12, 6-2) showed a lot of grit and determination in game one as they outlasted the Pilots 3-2 in eleven innings of play. They then dropped the nightcap 4-2 to split the series.
After managing just one hit through the first six innings, the Foresters found their bats when it really mattered. Down 1-0 heading into the seventh, Katie Bowers singled to left and then Kate Dwyer's RBI-triple gave Bowers plenty of time to cross the plate, sending the game into extra innings. Behind the pitching of Molly Long and solid defense, HU successfully held off the talented Pilots for the next three innings.
According to NAIA rules, beginning in the tenth inning the player who made the last out from the previous inning starts on second base. The Pilots finally took advantage of this runner in scoring position as they plated a run in the top of the eleventh. Dwyer again answered for the Foresters as she singled to left allowing Aubrey Garner to score from second. Brita Kuiper then delivered the knock out punch when she blasted one to the right field fence giving Dwyer more than enough time to scamper home.
Molly Long went the distance for HU to pick up the win. In eleven innings of play she gave up two runs on six hits and no walks while striking out nine. Dwyer paced the Foresters at the plate with two hits and two RBI. Also collecting a pair of hits were Bowers, Kuiper and Brandi Gower.
In the nightcap, the Foresters grabbed the early 1-0 lead in their first at-bats but the Pilots pieced together three hits and took advantage of an HU error in the top of the third to jump in front 3-1. The Foresters got one back in the bottom half of the frame with an RBI-double from Bowers to close within one but Bethel matched that in the very next inning to push their lead to 4-2. It proved more than enough as neither team scored the remaining of the contest.
Stacie Rawnsley took the loss for HU. In three and a third innings she gave up four runs on five hits. At the plate, Garner went 2-for-2 to lead the Foresters.