HUNTINGTON, Ind. - After taking nearly a three-week sabbatical from games thanks to a lingering Jack Frost, the HU softball team (2-2) had their hands full when they returned to the field on Saturday, dropping a pair of games, 4-1, 8-0, to 10th-ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.).
The Tigers (15-1) have lived up to their national ranking, outscoring opponents 155-36 this season on their way to cutting ten games short with blowout wins.
The visitors wasted no time establishing their dominance in the opener by plating two runs in their first at bats. It was a shaky start for HU pitcher Marcie McDougle but the junior settled in to hold the Tigers scoreless over the next three innings before Olivet struck again in the top of the fifth and again in the sixth to establish a 4-0 lead.
The Foresters got one back with two outs in the bottom of the sixth when Katie Knous tallied her team’s only RBI-hit with an infield single but it was too little too late as the Tigers rode out the win.
ONU dominated the plate by out-hitting the Foresters 16-5.
McDougle (1-1) went the distance, giving up four runs, three earned, in her first loss of the season.
Tiger pitcher Virginia McAndrews held the Foresters in check in the nightcap as she scattered three hits to hold HU scoreless. She picked up her fifth win of the season and got plenty of support from her teammates who raced out to a 4-0 lead after three innings. It proved to be more than enough as ONU cruised to the lopsided 8-0 win in six innings.
Annie Weaver, Katie Bowers and Kaitlyn Troyer accounted for HU’s only hits.
Ariel Sheets got the starting nod on the mound and was charged with the loss. In 2.1 innings, she gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits and two walks. Emily Puterbaugh tossed 2.2 innings of relief and allowed two runs while Kaylin Yon gave up two runs in the sixth.
Weather permitting, the Foresters head into a ten-game week starting with a Crossroads match-up at Bethel College on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.