MARION, Ind. - The 3rd-seeded HU softball team made a premature exit from the 2012 Mid-Central Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon as they went 1-2 at Indiana Wesleyan University, ending its season with a loss to top-seeded Bethel College.
The Foresters blew a two-run lead in their opening round game on Wednesday, falling 6-4 to 6th-seeded Spring Arbor after the Cougars plated four runs in their last at-bat. Huntington responded with a 5-1 victory over No. 7 Grace, but Bethel beat the Foresters, 8-4, Thursday afternoon.
Huntington was in great shape in its first round game against Spring Arbor, leading 4-2 after six innings of play. But the Cougars mounted a furious rally, scoring four seventh-inning runs on three hits. Huntington aided the rally with an error.
The Foresters registered six hits including run scoring pokes by Brita Kuiper, Pazia Speed and Lindsay Shellabarger. Molly Long was charged with the loss. She wraps up her stellar career with a 16-11 senior campaign.
Brita Kuiper went 2-for-3 with three RBI as Huntington fought off elimination with a 5-1 win over Grace Wednesday night in the loser’s bracket. Brandi Gower added a pair of hits. Marcie McDougle got the win on the mound, scattering four hits and fanning four in a complete-game effort.
Bethel used two three-run innings — the first and the fifth — to top Huntington on Thursday. Kuiper paced the Foresters with two hits and two RBI. Katie Bowers was 1-for-1 with three walks, two runs and an RBI. Peyton Klinkhamer and Kendra DeRoo added two hits apiece. McDougle (11-3) took the loss in the circle giving up seven runs, four earned, on eight hits and a walk.
Huntington finishes the season with 29 wins, the most in program history, against 18 losses.