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Softball wraps up No. 2 seed in league tourney

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SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Forester softball team wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the final regular season league standings by splitting with Spring Arbor University Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field. HU and Indiana Wesleyan finished with identical conference records of 26-10 but it was Coach Gower’s crew who gets the higher seed as they beat the Wildcats 3-1 in their four meetings this season.

Huntington needed to win at least one game today in order to lock in at the two spot and they got the job in the opener by blanking SAU 2-0.

Offensively, it was déjà vu for the Foresters. HU touched home in the second when Emily O’Leary tripled down the right field line and eventually came home on Marty Harris’ RBI-single. Fast forward to the sixth when O’Leary found her way on base again, this time by way of a single, and then took advantage of a second Harris run-scoring single to plate another run.

It was all the offense HU needed as Emily Puterbaugh logged the complete-game shutout for her 19th win of the year. She gave up just two hits and a walk with three strikeouts while her teammates were errorless in the field.

The nightcap, unfortunately, didn’t go quite as well for the Foresters as they committed four errors which resulted in two unearned runs and an 8-6 loss.

Spring Arbor pounded out 11 of their 15 hits through the first four frames to jump in front of their visitors 6-1 with HU’s run coming in the fourth when Sabrina Pickford tripled to right and then made her way home on a wild pitch.

Huntington’s offense came to life after that. After singles by Lea Buckenmyer and Natalie McGuire to start the fifth, Katie DePew delivered a double to left-center to drive in both her teammates. Audra Klopfenstein followed up with an RBI-single to knock in DePew. It was the fourth of six hits as Alyssa Hiple singled to right and then Pickford cashed in on an RBI-infield single to close the gap to one at 6-5.

DePew went back at in the sixth to register her second RBI base poke of the game to deadlock things at 6-6 but her team’s comeback bid came up short as they left three baserunners stranded and then gave up two runs in second half of the frame to suffer the two-run loss.

Huntington finished with ten hits. DePew led the charge with two hits and three RBI. Pickford also tallied a pair of hits, scored and drove in a run while Buckenmyer added two hits as well.

After Ariel Sheets tossed the first 3.1 innings and gave up 11 hits and six runs, four of which were earned, Buckenmyer took the mound for the final 2.2 frames. The junior hurler was charged with the loss after scattering four hits and giving up two runs.

HU will head into the Crossroads League tournament with an overall record of 33-15. The tourney is slated to begin on Wednesday with details to follow.

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.