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No. 2 HU slips past No. 6 Taylor in second round of tourney

Home /News /Parents Weekend 2011

UPLAND, Ind. – The 2nd-seeded Forester softball team (35-15) picked up two wins to cruise through day one of the Crossroads League Tournament. After beating 7th-seeded Mount Vernon Nazarene University in their opening game, HU mounted an impressive comeback against 6th-seeded Taylor University (27-27) for their second win of the day, a 5-4 decision, at Gudakunst Field.

The Foresters now advance to play top-seeded Marian University on Friday at 3:00 p.m. at Marian. The remainder of the league tourney will be played at MU Softball Field.

The play of the day came at the bat of Emily O’Leary. The senior third baseman smoked one over the right field fence to plate two runs in the top of the sixth. For O’Leary, it was her fourth dinger of the year but more importantly it deadlocked things at 4-4 and gave HU the momentum to finish the job.

Up to that point, things were looking bleak for Huntington as the Trojans jumped out to a 4-0 advantage by way of a solo blast in the first and a three-run shot in the second.

But Coach Gower’s gritty crew scratched and clawed their way back starting in the third when Courtney Sliger led off with a double down the left field line and eventually came around to score on an RBI-fielder’s choice by Katie DePew. A wild throw and ground out later, DePew also made her way home on a wild pitch to cut the lead in half at 4-2.

Then came O’Leary’s big at bat in the sixth and the game-winner in the seventh. DePew set the stage with a single to center to open up the frame. It was savvy base-running after that as she advanced to second on a wild pitch and then scampered home from second after Audra Klopfenstein’s single was bobbled in the outfield for the 5-4 advantage.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans landed the tying run on first but their rally was short-lived as Emily Puterbaugh got Lauren Ehle to pop out in foul territory to secure the win.

Despite giving up four runs in two frames, the most runs she’s given up in a game all season, Puterbaugh (20-4) would not be shaken. The Crossroads League’s Pitcher of the Year surrendered just three hits the rest of the way to will her team to victory. When all the dust had settled, she gave up seven hits, four runs and a walk while striking out nine for the complete-game win.

Just like their first contest of the day, seven different Foresters logged a base poke. O’Leary and DePew each logged a hit and finished with two and one RBI respectively.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 234 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.