HUNTINGTON, Ind. - On Friday afternoon, the Foresters returned home to face Mount Vernon Nazarene University. The Cougars hammered out three home runs in the opener on their way to a 9-8 win before HU held on for an 11-10 victory in the nightcap.
In game one, both teams hammered out 12 hits but sloppy defense proved to be the difference in the contest as HU committed four errors which translated into an unearned run in a game that came down to the wire.
The Cougars opened up a 5-1 lead through the first three innings before Huntington got things rolling in the fourth. With bases loaded, Lindsay Shellabarger pounded out a single to plate two runs and pull her team within two at 5-3.
But Mount Vernon wasted no time pushing the lead back to four in the top of the fifth. Not to be done, HU answered with three runs in their half of the frame to keep things interesting. A pair of rookies came up big for the Foresters. Katie DePew doubled in two runs before classmate Annie Weaver logged her second run-scoring single of the contest to trim the lead to 7-6.
Coach Gower’s squad went on to knot the score at 7-7 in the sixth on Cristin Carter’s RBI single but it was a short-lived stalemate as MVNU’s Morgan Wade sent her first pitch over the fence in the top of the seventh.
Seven of the Cougars’ runs came by way of the long ball with Wade’s two-run game-winning blast topping the list, her second homer of the afternoon.
Katie Bowers knocked in a run in the bottom of the frame to pull her team within one but it wouldn’t be enough as the Cougars worked their way out of the inning for the win.
Weaver paced HU at the plate with two hits and two RBI. Pazia Speed also recorded a pair of base pokes while DePew added a hit, scored two runs and drove in two more.
Marcie McDougle took the loss on the mound. In five innings of work she gave up ten hits and seven runs, six earned, while striking out four.
The nightcap was another slugfest that featured a combined 24 hits with HU owning the 14-10 advantage.
MVNU jumped out to 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth but the tables quickly turned when HU came up with two monster innings to take a 9-5 lead into the seventh.
After playing a bit of small ball through the first four innings, HU plated four runs in the fifth thanks to run-scoring base pokes by Weaver and Carter and a Shellabarger sacrifice fly.
Huntington carried the momentum into the sixth where they added five more runs to surge ahead. In addition to collecting three hits that featured a two-run single by Emily O’Leary, the Foresters got a little help from the Cougars as they took advantage of a hit batter, walk and wild pitch to build a four-run cushion.
Little did anyone suspect that the game was far from over as the Cougars mounted a fast furious comeback in the top of the seventh, scoring six runs on two hits, an HU error and four walks to reclaim the lead at 10-9.
With momentum having shifted to the visitors, it was the freshmen combo of DePew and Weaver who once again came up big for HU down the stretch. After a Katie Knous single to left and an Allison Greene sacrifice bunt, DePew tallied her third RBI of the series to deadlock the score at 10-10 and then Weaver finished things off with a walk-off sacrifice fly to send MVNU packing.
DePew finished a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate, scored two runs and drove in another to lead HU offensively. Weaver added two hits, three RBI and scored two runs while teammates Speed, Carter and Knous also recorded a pair of hits.
Kaylin Yon picked up the win. The freshman hurler spent 5.1 innings on the mound and gave up five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three. Ariel Sheets worked the final 1.2 innings and gave up five runs on two hits and three walks while striking out one.