Huntington, Ind. - They say pitching is where it's at and that's just what the HU softball team proved as they stormed through spring break by winning all eight of their games.
Enroute to Cocoa Beach, Florida, the Foresters made a pitstop in Owensboro, Kentucky, where they won their first two games, 12-2, 7-1, against Brescia University. Huntington only needed five innings to take care of business the Bearcats as Abby Dilling pitched a complete game to pick up the win. She allowed two runs on six hits while striking out two. As a team, Huntington went 14-for-27 from the plate with Aubrey Garner leading the way. She smacked two out of the park and collected six RBI. Katie Knous finished with three hits , sending one over the fence in her first at bat as a Forester. Taylor Amber, Melissa Werling and Allison Greene had two hits apiece as the Foresters dominated play from start to finish.
In the nightcap, the Bearcats struck first with a run in their initial at-bat but two innings later the Foresters took control and never looked back as they cruised to a 7-1 win. Freshman hurler Marci McDougle went the distance on the mound giving up one run on three hits while striking out six to notch her first collegiate win. Offensively, Katie Bowers led HU with a homer, double, two RBI and two runs scored. Garner continued to pound the ball, finishing with two hits and two RBI while Megan Smith went 2-for-3.
Up against a NCAA Division II opponent didn't seem to phase the Foresters as they beat the University of Minnesota Crookston 3-0 on Monday afternoon. Molly Long pitched the three-hit shutout, issuing only one walk while striking out ten. Garner went 2-for-2 from the plate wiht two RBI. Megan Smith had a long ball making her the fourth Forester to hit a home run this season.
Later that day, HU faced another NCAA Division II foe in Minnesota State University Moorhead. Dilling earned the 4-2 victory over the Dragons throwing seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks while fanning six. The Foresters scored all four of their runs in the third inning. MSUM threatened in the fifth by cutting HU's lead in half, but they would get no closer as the Foresters held on for the win. Garner finished with two hits and an RBI and Bowers had a two-run double. Huntington stole six bases, five coming at the wheels of Melissa Werling.
On Tuesday, the Foresters made quick work of Fisher College (Boston, MA), beating the Facons 15-0 in five innings. Dilling hurled a no-hitter, issuing no walks while striking out five. HU combined for fourteen hits with Taylor Amber leading the charge. She finished with two hits and four RBI. Alicia Willour added a double and triple and scored one run while Bowers had two hits, one RBI and scored two runs. Karen Bollenbacher recorded a hit and three RBI.
In a rematch with the University of Minnesota Crookston later that day, it was a pitcher's duel in which Long came out on top as the Foresters claimed a 1-0 win against the Golden Eagles. In eight innings of work, she gave up only two hits and no walks while striking out 14 batters. Werling and Bowers claimed the only hits on the day for the Foresters with Werling notching the game-winning RBI in the extra inning.
Back on the mound Wednesday morning, Long again took care of business with a 6-2 decision over Minnesota State University Moorhead giving up two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out eight. Amber pushed HU's homerun total to six by sending one over the fence. She also added a single and three RBI. Garner finished with three hits and scored two runs while Bowers had two hits and an RBI.
In their final game of the week, HU cruised past Fisher College 10-0 on Wednesday afternoon. McDougle went the distance to pick up the shutout. In fiving innings of work, she gave up two hits, issued no walks and struck out 12 of 17 batters. As a team, the Foresters scattered 11 hits, three coming from Bowers. She also added two RBI and scored one run. Knous notched her second homer of the season and finished with two RBI. Garner, Taylor and Smith each collected two hits on the day.
The Foresters wrapped up spring break with a perfect 8-0 record. They are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Siena Heights for a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.