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Softball suffers 6-2 loss before blanking Taylor 4-0

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UPLAND, Ind. – The Forester softball team took a trip to Upland Friday afternoon where they split a twin bill with Taylor University (21-22, 12-15) at Gudakunst Field. The doubleheader was originally slated to be played at HU but weather conditions forced the games to be moved to TU.

Game one turned into a homerun derby for the Trojans as three long balls accounted for five of their runs in a 6-2 decision that favored Taylor. Highlighted by Lauren Ehle’s three-run blast in the first, the TU jumped out to a 6-0 lead before HU finally got two back late in the game.

Huntington’s runs were kick-started by back-to-back Trojan errors in the sixth that put two runners on base after which Emily O’Leary and Katelyn Shafer each recorded an RBI-ground out to make for the 6-2 final.

Ariel Sheets was charged with the loss. She tossed the first five frames and gave up eight hits, five runs, four of which were earned, and one walk. Taylor finished with ten hits to HU’s two.

The Foresters turned things around in the nightcap by blanking the Trojans 4-0. Taylor has only been held scoreless four times this season, two times against the Foresters as Coach Gower’s crew enjoyed a 9-0 blowout over TU back on March 29.

HU tapped into the middle innings to get the job done offensively. Natalie McGuire drew a walk in the bottom of the third, advanced to third on Courtney Sliger’s double down the left field line and then scampered home on a wild throw to give her team a 1-0 lead. Sliger then made her way home on Audra Klopfenstein’s RBI-single to double the advantage.

Bess Fiechter added to the lead in the fifth when she singled in Shafer who had doubled to deep right-center earlier in the frame and then Alyssa Hiple piled on another insurance run with a sacrifice fly to account for HU’s final run.

HU outhit Taylor 7-2. Klopfenstein tallied two hits and an RBI while five other Foresters picked up a hit.

Emily Puterbaugh earned the complete-game shutout. She scattered just two hits and gave up a walk while striking out nine for her 16th win in the circle.

Huntington (26-14, 19-9) is back on the road again today for a doubleheader at Goshen.

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.