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HU advances to championship game of CL tourney

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Huntington softball team upset top-seeded Marian University 3-2 in extra innings Friday afternoon to advance to the championship game of the Crossroads League Tournament slated for tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at Marian. The Foresters await the winner of tomorrow’s 1:00 p.m. game between #1 Marian and #3 Indiana Wesleyan.

It was a pitcher’s duel between the league’s Co-Pitchers of the Year with the battle belonging to HU’s Emily Puterbaugh. The senior hurler gave up six hits, two runs and five walks while striking out six during her eight frames in the circle. Marian’s ace Breena Smith was charged with the loss having given up three hits, three runs, only one of which was earned, and two walks while striking out 11.

Nerves were evident as both teams combined for five botched plays on the day. The Knights’ errors proved most costly as the game ended on a wild throw in the eighth but not before some timely hitting by the Foresters. Courtney Sliger started things off for HU by finding a hole in center for HU’s third and final hit of the day.

The stage was officially set when she advanced to second on Natalie McGuire’s sacrifice bunt. A grounder to third by Katie DePew seemed a sure out but after looking Sliger back to second, Logan Personett sailed her throw to first into the Marian dugout resulting in the umpire awarding Sliger two bases sending the HU dugout into a frenzied celebration.

Compared to the game-winning play, the rest of the contest paled in comparison except for the first frame where all four of the early runs were housed. The Knights struck first as the visiting team on the scoreboard but the Foresters were quick to respond.

DePew led off with a single up the middle, stole second and then got some help from the Knights including a wild pitch and error to make her way home. Amidst all of that, Emily O’Leary drew a walk, landed on second compliments of the previously mentioned error and then came around to score on Katelyn Shafer’s RBI-single into center to force the 2-2 tie that stuck until Huntington’s eighth inning heroics.

HU’s only hits came by way of DePew, Shafer and Sliger. MU finished with six hits behind Mackenzie Reeder’s two base pokes and RBI while Morgan Burton added an RBI-double and scored a run.  

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.