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HU softball sweeps Cougars in home opener

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Forester softball team evened up its conference record with a pair of wins, 3-1, 6-4, in their home opener against Mount Vernon Nazarene University (6-8, 0-2) Tuesday afternoon. With these victories, HU improves to 3-3 in Crossroads action, 8-7-1 overall.

Freshman Lairen Miller was two outs away from a shutout in game one before the Cougars logged a double and then took advantage of two botched plays to plate an unearned run in the top of the seventh.

The rookie hurler gave up just three hits while striking out five for the complete game win.

Offensively, Audra Klopfenstein led the charge by going 3-for-3 at the plate with two of her base pokes knocking in runs. Her first RBI-hit was a single up the middle in the third for a 1-0 HU lead. Her second run-producing hit came in the fifth when she blasted a shot to the right-center fence for a triple, the second three-bagger of her career.

It was the first of two runs scored in the fifth as Klopfenstein came home when Camille Furrow also sent one to the right-center fence.

HU finished with seven hits.

The Foresters rallied in the fifth to log the come-from-behind W in the nightcap. It was Furrow’s two-out round-tripper that proved to be the game-winner. The two-run blast was her second of the year and capped off a four-run inning for HU.

Huntington tapped into some small-ball to plate their first two runs of the fifth with Casey Lehman’s sacrifice fly and a Cougar misplayed grounder paving the way for two Foresters to make their way home for the 4-4 stalemate before Furrow’s moon shot over the center field fence.

HU would get off to a fast start in their first at bat for an early 2-0 tilt. Karley Blankenship led off with a standup double and then came around to score on Casey Lehman’s triple into right. Klopfenstein picked up where she left off in the opener with an RBI-single to drive in Lehman for HU’s second run.

But Mount Vernon slowly and steadily went to work to steal the lead. They scored once in the second and twice in the third to enjoy a 3-2 advantage. The added one more to their lead in the top of the fifth before HU’s fast and furious comeback in their half of the inning.

Furrow earned the complete-game win by giving up ten hits, four runs, three of which were earned, and a walk while striking out four.

Both teams finished with ten hits with Blankenship and Harris recording two apiece for Coach Gower’s crew.

The Foresters host #RV Indiana Wesleyan on Thursday 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.