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Softball sweeps doubleheader against Bethel

Article provided by Huntington University

SOFTBALL

The Huntington softball team claimed the regular season sweep over Bethel College Friday afternoon with a pair of wins, 8-0, 3-2, to improve to 17-12 overall, 12-7 in league play. HU’s other two wins over the Pilots (3-27, 2-20) came back on March 17. The Foresters have now logged 18 straight Ws over BC.

Game one was Huntington’s fifth shutout of the year and the third time they’ve mercy-ruled an opponent.

HU jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Audra Klopfenstein’s RBI-double in the second and Sophia Beachy’s run-scoring single in the third before piling on four more runs in the fifth. The Foresters loaded the bases early to set the stage for Paige Eichelberger to drive in a pair of runs with a single to right. Mallory West then roped a shot into left-center to knock in two more runs for a 6-0 advantage.

Clearly in command of the game, the Foresters went ahead and polished off their visitors an inning early with two more runs in the sixth for the 8-0 win, the 16th time the Pilots have been held scoreless this season.

Lairen Miller picked up the complete-game win by scattering six hits while striking out four.

Beachy was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Joelle Beals posted three hits while Eichelberger finished with two hits and two RBI. The threesome combined to score six of their team’s eight runs.

Good teams find a way to win and that’s exactly what happened in the nightcap. Heading into their last at bat down 2-0, the Foresters pieced together an impressive rally in the seventh for the come-from-behind win. West led off with a stand-up double to bring to life the HU hopefuls and force a pitching change.

Eichelberger took advantage of the new pitcher by drawing a walk to represent the tying run. Back-to-back clutch RBI-singles by Kennedy Krull and Karley Blankenship drew things even at 2-2 and then Beachy finished things off by dropping one into shallow left-center for a bloop walk-off single.

Meghan Fretz earned the win in the circle. She went the distance to give up two hits, two runs, only one of which was earned, and a walk while striking out three.

Huntington finished with nine hits with Beachy and Blankenship picking up two apiece to go along with an RBI. HU is back in action tomorrow to host Taylor at 1:00 PM.

BASEBALL

The HU baseball team picked up a pair of road wins over Spring Arbor, 7-2 4-1, Friday afternoon at Hank Burbridge Field to improve to 13-13 overall, 11-1 in league play.

The Cougars’ only lead of the day came in the first two frames of the opener when they enjoyed a 2-0 lead. But the Foresters matched that in the third when Adam Roser knocked in a run with a two-bagger to right and then came around to score on Tyler Zimske’s triple.

It was all HU after that as they plated five runs over the next three frames to jump in front 7-2, an advantage the hosts never challenged. Roser knocked in his second run of the contest six batters into the fourth but not before Nick Davit sent his first pitch over the right-field fence for his fourth dinger of the year. Dan Lichty put the finishing touches on the inning with an RBI-single for a 5-2 Forester lead.

The Cougars (18-20, 9-8) were tired of seeing Roser step up to the plate as he logged another run-scoring hit in the sixth, this time a single into shallow left-center. Shortly after, Donovan Clark scored, for the third time, on a bobbled ball.

Roser finished with three hits and just as many RBI. Clark added two hits as did Hunter Losekamp.

Connor West earned the win on the mound. In six innings, he gave up five hits, two runs and three walks while striking out nine after which Jamar Weaver tossed an inning of scoreless, hitless relief.

The nightcap saw Colton Punches pitch a gem. The senior hurler spent the entire nine innings on the bump for the complete-game win having surrendered eight hits, one unearned run and a walk while striking out four.

Huntington’s first two runs were compliments of Clark’s speed. After an infield single to open the game, he stole second and then third before motoring home on a wild pitch. In his next at-bat in the third, he posted a single and landed on the other corner by way of another steal and sacrifice bunt by Roser. His final 90 feet were made possible by a Zimske fielder’s choice.

Frame’s squad scored twice more in the third. Davit was hit by a pitch with bases loaded. With bases still loaded, Jake Hansen singled in the final run of the frame for a 4-0 lead. SAU got one back in the seventh but it was too little too make as the Foresters easily cruised to the win.

Clark finished with two of HU’s five hits to pace his team offensively.

Next up for the conference-leading Foresters is a clash with the league’s second place team in Taylor University on Monday at 6 p.m. at Forest Glen.