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HU explodes for 17 runs in nightcap to wrap-up sweep over SAU

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SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - The Forester softball team (21-23, 18-18) wrapped up the regular season with a pair of road wins Saturday afternoon at Spring Arbor University (15-32, 9-25). After posting a 5-4 win in the opener, Huntington exploded for 17 runs in game two to enjoy a 17-8 victory over the Cougars that lasted six innings.

Kate DePew was a triple away from hitting for the cycle in the nightcap as the game’s final result was more like a football score than a softball score. The junior second baseman pounded out a single, two doubles and a four-bagger, her second of the day, to finish a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. She also scored four times and logged an RBI.

Audra Klopfenstein also tallied four hits while scoring twice and driving in three runs. Emily O’Leary and Alyssa Hiple added three hits apiece and registered four and three RBI respectively.

Natalie McGuire came up with the biggest hit of the day when she cleared the bases in the top of the sixth for a grand slam. McGuire’s dinger was one of three long balls in the inning as Cristin Carter started things off with a solo shot over the center field fence while SAU’s Liz Campeau tallied a three-run blast, her second homer of the game, later in the frame. 

It was never a close contest as the Foresters scored in every inning except the third with their biggest at-bats coming in the fourth and sixth where they touched home five times each frame while the Cougars waited until the fourth before plating their first run.

As a team, Coach Gower’s crew hammered out 21 hits, nine for extra bases, in their 34 plate appearances for a hitting percentage of .618 and an unbelievable slugging percentage of 1.088. Seventeen runs marks the most runs HU has scored in a game since their 17-2 win over Mayville State (N.D.) back on March 18, 2014.

Lea Buckenmyer tossed the first four innings to notch the win. She gave up five hits and five runs while striking out two.

DePew opened up game one with a homer over the left field fence to give her team a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished. The Foresters would go on plate three more runs in the second on a pair of run-scoring doubles by Katelyn Shafer and Courtney Sliger that drove in two and one runs respectively.

After HU scored again in the third on a misplayed grounder, the Cougars finally got on the board with two runs in their half of the frame for a 5-2 contest. SAU would go on to score twice more in the fifth but wouldn’t challenge the lead after that as Emily Puterbaugh held them hitless the rest of the way to record the complete-game win.

Puterbaugh gave up four hits and four runs while striking out ten for her sixth win of the year.

The Foresters now turn their attention to the conference tournament slated to begin on Wednesday, April 29.

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.