SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - Long road trips have not been kind to the Forester softball team and Saturday proved to be no different as they dropped a pair of MCC contests to Spring Arbor University, 8-7, 7-3.
Things started off well for HU as Katie Bowers and Lindsay Shellabarger each registered run scoring hits in the top of the first to give Huntington an early 2-0 advantage. The Cougars closed to within 2-1 in the second and then edged ahead 3-2 two innings later but the Foresters came raging back in the top of the fifth.
With runners on first and second, Bowers tripled to deep right to plate two runs. Brita Kuiper followed up with an infield RBI single to push the visitors back on top 5-3. Not ready to throw in the towel, SAU pounded out three hits and took advantage of several errors in the bottom of the sixth to knot things up at 5-5.
Neither team was able to piece together a game-winning rally in the seventh sending the game into extra innings. The Foresters struck first in the top of the ninth when Bowers doubled in Klinkhamer for her fourth RBI of the contest but not to be outdone, the Cougars matched that in their half of the frame to extend the game into double digit innings.
It looked like HU would escape with their third extra inning win of the season when Cristin Carter delivered an RBI-double down the left field line in the top of the tenth to give HU a 7-6 advantage. But a determined Cougar squad desperate to keep their postseason hopes alive, pieced together two runs and took advantage of a wild throw to plate two runs for the win.
Molly Long logged her third consecutive loss on the mound. She went the distance and surrendered eight runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out 12.
Bowers finished with two doubles and a triple, scored two runs and drove in four more to pace the Foresters offensively. Carter went 4-for-5 and picked up an RBI while Klinkhamer added two hits and scored three runs.
Riding the momentum from game one, Spring Arbor raced out to an early 6-0 lead after the first two innings in the nightcap on their way to the 7-3 win. The Foresters registered their first run of the contest in the top of the fourth thanks to a run scoring base poke by Pazia Speed and added a run in the fifth and sixth on a wild pitch and bobble to pull within three at 6-3 but they would get no closer as the Cougars added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to wrap up the win.
Klinkhamer finished a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate. Kuiper, Kendra DeRoo and Speed were the only other Foresters to pick up a hit in the losing effort.
Marcie McDougle got the start and worked the first two outs of game before Abby Dilling came in on relief and was charged with the loss. She scattered six hits and gave up three runs, two earned, and a walk while striking out two in 5.1 innings on the mound.
The Foresters have lost their last four games and drop to 19-13 overall, 7-5 in conference play. They are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Grace College for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader.