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Foresters split with Taylor for first league win

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UPLAND, Ind. - The Huntington softball team (4-12, 1-7) enjoyed its first league win against Taylor University (11-9, 5-3) Monday at Gudakunst Field. After dropping a 3-2 decision to the Trojans in the opener, the Foresters hung on for a 7-6 win in the nightcap for the series split.

While Emily Puterbaugh limited TU to just four hits in game one, it was the hosts’ third hit that spelled disaster for Puterbaugh and company. With runners on second and third in the bottom of the fifth, Jessica Britt sent one over the left field fence to give Taylor a lead that would hold.

Just an inning prior, the Foresters logged their only two runs of the contest for the temporary lead. After Alyssa Hiple reached on a walk to open the frame and Emily O’Leary doubled to deep left-center, Courtney Sliger laid down a bunt for Hiple to score. O’Leary also touched home on the throw to get Sliger out.

O’Leary finished 2-for-3 at the plate to pace HU offensively. Hannah Priskorn logged the Foresters only other hit.

The offense for both teams came alive in game two. Things didn’t start out as well for HU as Hannah Robbins held the visitors hitless through the first three innings while her teammates built a comfortable 4-0 advantage.

The tides finally began to turn in the fourth when Hiple doubled in Katie DePew and Bess Fiechter who had both singled earlier in the frame to close the gap to two at 4-2.

Huntington went back at it in the fifth. With two outs, HU’s bats were just heating up as they posted five hits on their way to exploding for five runs. Capping off the rally was Cristin Carter who doubled through the hole at shortstop to drive in a pair runs for the 7-4 go ahead.

The Trojans came storming back in their half of the frame to piece together two runs on four hits before Lea Buckenmyer struck out Alex Lovelace for the third out to cut TU’s comeback short. Taylor would threaten again in the seventh with the winning run at the plate but Ariel Sheets, who came in on relief for the final two innings, worked the final out to pick up the save for the Foresters.

Buckenmyer earned the win for HU for her third victory of the season. She gave up ten hits, six runs and three walks while striking out five in five innings of work.

Offensively, DePew and Fiechter each collected two hits and an RBI in addition to scoring twice. HU finished with nine hits to Taylor’s 13.    

The Foresters host Goshen College today in their home opener slated for 3 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 222 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.