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Lehman’s walk-off double lifts HU past #23 Rio Grande for first win of season

Home / News / Lehman's walk-off double lifts HU past #23 Rio Grande for first win of season

WESTFIELD, Ind. - Sophomore Casey Lehman’s walk-off double propelled the HU softball team to its first win Friday afternoon over one of the nation’s best in the University of Rio Grande (7-5) at Grand Park. Lehman’s heroics drove in Audra Klopfenstein in the bottom of the seventh in the nightcap for a 5-4 win over the #23 RedStorm.

All the action happened in the latter part of the contest with HU plating the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth when Karley Blankenship, after singling to left, eventually found her way home on Marty Harris’ misplaced grounder.

Timely hitting by Rio Grande in the top of the sixth along with a wild pitch and passed ball allowed the visitors to score three runs and surge ahead 3-1. Not to be outdone, Gower’s crew matched that effort with three hits while taking advantage of another misplayed grounder to reclaim the lead at 4-3.

The RedStorm error allowed Lehman, who started things off with a single up the middle, to touch home. Shortly after Joelle Beals knocked in Sophia Beachy with a base poke to left after which Blankenship’s sacrifice fly drove in the final run of the sixth.

The chess match continued in the seventh. Rio Grande’s Carly Skeese led off with a triple and wasted little time scampering home on a wild pitch to knot things up a 4-4 before Lehman claimed checkmate with her game-winning shot to right center.

Meghan Fretz, in her college debut on the mound, went the distance for the win. The rookie hurler gave up just six hits, four runs and a walk.

Behind Lehman’s pair of hits and RBI, HU finished with nine hits. Klopfenstein also finished with two base pokes.

The opener wasn’t quite so friendly for the Foresters. Gower’s squad managed just three hits to the RedStorm’s ten and committed three errors to the tune of three unearned runs to suffer a 4-2 loss to their visitors.

Rio Grande wasted little time taking control of the game by cashing in on three hits and taking advantage of HU’s first miscue in the top of the first for two quick runs and what proved to be a permanent lead.

Huntington got one back in the fourth on Beachy’s RBI-fielder’s choice but URG extended their lead back to two with a run in their next at bat. Both teams found home in the seventh, HU’s on Joelle Beals’ two-out run-scoring three-bagger. It was an anti-climactic ending as the RedStorm worked the final out to make for the 4-2 final.

In addition to Beals’ triple, her second of the year, Lehman and Beachy accounted for HU’s other two hits.

Mallory West took the loss for Huntington. She tossed all seven frames and gave up ten hits, four runs, only one of which was earned, and two walks while striking out five.

HU (1-4) now has over a week’s break before hosting Indiana Wesleyan on March 13.

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 274 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.