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HU logs third straight series sweep

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The HU softball team logged its third straight series sweep with a pair of wins over Spring Arbor University, 2-0, 8-6, Tuesday afternoon to move into a tie for third with IWU in the league standings. Huntington is now 15-10-1 overall, 10-6 in conference play.

The Foresters made quick work of game one thanks in large part to Lairen Miller’s performance on the mound. For the second straight contest, the freshman hurler tossed a complete-game shutout, scattering six hits while striking out six for her seventh win of the year.

Bailey Funkhouser helped Miller preserve HU’s shutout with a game-altering catch in the top of the fifth. With two outs and runners on second and third, the rookie right fielder laid out for Megan Labut’s line drive to rob the Cougars of what would have been a pair of runs.

Huntington’s bats were relatively quiet except in the fourth when they pieced together three consecutive hits to plate both runs. It was a two-out rally ignited by Marty Harris’ double to the fence. Sabrina Bethel then drove her in with single into shallow center after which Karlee Blankenship posted an RBI-double to drive in Bethel.

Coach Gower’s crew finished with seven hits with Natalie McGuire tallying two, one of which was a two-bagger.

It looked like the Foresters would cruise to a win in the nightcap as they took an 8-3 lead into the seventh but the Cougars (11-21, 6-10) kept things interesting. Camille Furrow held the visitors in check through the first six innings, surrendering seven hits for three runs, before SAU hammered out four hits for three runs in their last at bat to trim the lead to just two.

With the tying run at the plate, Gower called on Miller to take the mound where she worked the final two outs for the save with Furrow earning the win. The win is Furrow’s eighth on the year as she gave up 11 hits and six runs, four of which were earned, while striking out three.

In addition to a solid outing in the circle, Furrow was also a force to be reckoned with at the plate by driving in her team’s first two runs on a pair of RBI-singles, one in the first and the second two frames later. Harris accounted for HU’s third run by knocking in Audra Klopfenstein who had singled prior to Furrow’s at bat in the third.

The fourth proved to be Huntington’s big inning. While HU tallied three hits, they had a little help from the Cougars to plate their five runs. A wild pitch, walk and second wild pitch resulted in three runs while two other Foresters scampered home on a dropped fly.

Huntington hammered out 15 hits with Klopfenstein leading the way by going 3-for-4 and scoring three times. Furrow and Karley Blankenship each posted two hits and just as many RBI while McGuire and Harris also finished with two hits apiece.

The Foresters are back in action on Friday to host Saint Francis at 3:00 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 254 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.