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Foresters split Crossroads League contests with Goshen

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

SOFTBALL

The Huntington University softball team split a home Crossroads League doubleheader on Tuesday.

The Foresters scored a 10–5 win in game one before falling 10–1 to the Maple Leafs in game two, pushing Huntington’s season record to 11–19, including 7–13 in the Crossroads League.

Though Goshen started the scoring with a run in the top of the first, Huntington responded with a run of their own to tie the score at 1–1, compliments of an RBI groundout by sophomore first baseman Jada Crofoot to score junior left fielder Karley Blankenship. The run would be the start of a busy day at the plate for the Foresters.

Sophomore catcher Sophia Beachy came around to a score on a wild throw by the Maple Leaf defense, giving Huntington a 2–1 lead.

The Foresters doubled their advantage in the bottom of the third, as sophomore right fielder Paige Eichelberger, who opened the frame with a lead-off triple, scored on an RBI single by sophomore third baseman Kennedy Krull to give Huntington a 3–1 lead.

Beachy scored her second run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to an RBI single by Eichelberger, extending the Forester advantage to 4–1. Huntington had an opportunity to do more damage with the bases loaded later in the frame, but failed to convert.

Goshen got back in the game in the top of the fifth inning with a four-hit, three-run frame to tie the contest at 4–4.

However, the Foresters answered right back with a four-run frame of their own, highlighted by a bases-loaded triple by freshman center fielder Denaia Rice to bring home junior shortstop Joelle Beals, Beachy and senior second baseman Marty Harris. An RBI single by Eichelberger in the next at-bat scored Rice to give Huntington an 8–4 lead.

The Maple Leafs got one run back in the top of the sixth to cut the Forester advantage to 8–5, but Huntington responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach at 10–5 with runs by junior pinch runner Amber Klopfenstein and Beals.

Sophomore pitcher MacKyndsea Burke went the distance on the mound for the Foresters, giving up 13 hits and five runs, though only one was earned. Burke also struck out one Maple Leaf batter.

As has been Huntington’s theme throughout much of their conference slate this season, the Foresters got out to a rough start in game two and the opposition never looked back.

Goshen exploded for seven hits in the top of the first inning, racking up six runs in the process to take a commanding 6–0 lead before the Foresters stepped up to the dish.

The Maple Leafs added one run in the second and three more in the third to extend their lead to a dominant 10–0 mark.

Huntington’s offense finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with two outs, as sophomore right fielder Rozlynn Everhart singled to bring in Klopfenstein, though the run was too little, too late, as Goshen walked away with a 10–1 mercy-rule win.

Sophomore pitcher Meghan Fretz threw two and two-third innings for the Foresters, allowing 10 hits and nine runs, though three runs were unearned. Fretz fanned one Maple Leaf.

Sophomore pitcher Mallory West came on in relief of Fretz in the third inning and tossed the final two and one-third innings for Huntington, giving up a pair of hits and one unearned run while striking out four Goshen batters.

The Foresters return to action on Friday when they host Bethel for a Crossroads League doubleheader. First pitch for game one is slated for 3 p.m.

MEN’S GOLF

The Huntington University men’s golf team spent Monday and Tuesday at the Brickyard Crossing competing in the Wildcat Cup, hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University, where the Foresters finished 17th with a total score of 653 (324, 328).

Senior Cale Carr (76, 80) and junior Logan DeMaa (79, 78) finished within a stroke of each other by shooting totals of 156 and 157, respectively, to lead Huntington.

Freshman David Beck turned in a pair of 85s to finish with a 170, while junior Otto Bjartmarz tallied a 173 (88, 85) for head coach Rick Sholund’s team to round out the Forester scorecard.

“The Brickyard Crossing was a fantastic venue to compete on,” Sholund said in a press release. “We certainly would have like to have done better, but I know the guys gave it their best and it was just not there for us at this event. … I’m impressed with how each of them competed to the end. That’s what we as a coaching staff asked for and that’s what they did. I’m proud of them. We can learn a lot from this course and we’ll be ready to compete again on Monday at the Ackerman-Allen.”

Huntington will return to the course on April 15 for the Ackerman-Allen Shoot Out in West Lafayette, Indiana. The event will wrap up the Foresters’ regular season, as the Crossroads League Tournament is scheduled for April 29 and 30 in South Bend, Indiana.