Christ. Scholarship. Service.

O’Leary’s walk-off homer lifts HU past Reinhardt 2-1

Home / News / O'Leary's walk-off homer lifts HU past Reinhardt 2-1

WALESKA, Ga. – Huntington University senior Emily O’Leary’s walk-off solo blast in the eighth lifted the 3rd-seeded HU softball team (37-17) past 2nd-seeded Reinhardt University 2-1 on day one of the NAIA National Championships Opening Round at RU’s Ken White Softball Field.

For HU’s clean-up hitter, it was her fifth dinger of the year and gave the Foresters their first ever win in NAIA postseason play. The win also marked the second upset of the afternoon as top-seeded William Carey suffered a 4-1 loss to 4th-seeded Webber International earlier in the day.

While O’Leary’s homer was arguably the offensive highlight of the season to date, Alyssa Hiple came up with the defensive highlight of the season just one inning prior. With two runners on and two outs in the top of the seventh, the sophomore left fielder made a diving catch in shallow left-center to save the go-ahead run.

Coach Gower’s crew scored first when Natalie McGuire’s singled in Katelyn Shafer in the bottom of the second for the early 1-0 advantage. But the Eagles were quick to answer when Maddie Evans was hit by a pitch with bases loaded to deadlock things at 1-1 in the third. It would stay that way until O’Leary’s heroics in the eighth.

Emily Puterbaugh (22-5) earned the win in the circle. The senior hurler gave up six hits, one unearned run and one walk while striking out five in eight frames for the complete-game win.

HU outhit their hosts 9-6 with McGuire and Audra Klopfenstein each picking up a pair of base pokes.

The Foresters will face Webber International Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in the winner’s bracket while Reinhardt and William Carey will square off at 2:00 p.m. in the loser’s bracket.

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.