Jackets Split with Transy Knock DC from Tourney Contention
Saturday, April 27, 2013 | by Martin Kluk
Defiance (13-18, 6-7 HCAC)
Transylvania (11-22, 7-8 HCAC)
4/27/2013 | Defiance, OH | Attendance: 125
Win: Rowland (6-6) 7.051000
Loss: Hulsman (6-11) 7.0115425
Neanen (DC) 313210
Oakley (TRANS) 302000

DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Defiance College softball team played its heart out on Senior Day, but a seventh-inning error in game two gave the game-winning run to the Transylvania Pioneers in a Saturday split. The Purple and Gold won the first tilt 5-1, while Transy took the second 2-1.

With each team only earning one win on Saturday, April 27, they were both eliminated from making the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament being held next weekend. DC moved to 13-19 (6-8 HCAC), while the Pioneers now sit at 12-22 (8-8 HCAC). Franklin pulled off a sweep of MSJ on the day to secure a 9-7 HCAC record and nabbed the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament.

In game one of the doubleheader, the Yellow Jackets really handled the Pioneers from start to finish. The main contributor in the contest was freshman pitcher Alli Rowland (Westerville, OH / Westerville North) who got the starting nod and was lights out. Rowland logged her ninth complete game of the season, surrendering one run (unearned) on five hits in seven frames. Her record now rests at an even 6-6 on the year with a stellar 2.55 ERA.

DC’s offense was well balanced in the game, as it scored in five of the seven innings of play. The team grabbed the lead early with a two-spot in the top of the second. The Jackets used back-to-back RBI singles from juniors Macy Ferrall (St. Marys, OH / Memorial) and Maggie Neanen (Eaton, OH / HS) to plate sophomore Brittany Shough (DeGraff, OH / Riverside) and junior Anna Vasquez (West Unity, OH / Hilltop).

The Purple and Gold then tacked on a run in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth frames. In the top of the fourth, it was another single from Neanen that scored sophomore Tori Plummer (Perrysburg, OH / HS). Defiance then used a Transy fielding miscue to notch a run in the fifth and senior Gloria Basinger (Bluffton, OH / Cory-Rawson) joined the RBI single party with one of her own in the sixth to make it a 5-0 DC lead.

The Pioneers would pick up an unearned run in the bottom of the inning, but it would not faze Rowland, who eased through the seventh frame to earn the win for the Yellow Jackets.

DC’s aggressive offensive attack was crucial in the first contest, as the squad swiped seven bases that applied a lot of pressure on Transylvania all game long.  Neanen, Ferrall and Plummer each stole a pair, while Shough added one of her own. The game total of seven was a shock to many, considering the Jackets had only stole nine bags all season.

At the plate, Neanen was tops in the tilt with a perfect 3-for-3 mark, while adding two RBI’s and a score. Ferrall and Basinger also were solid at the dish by going 2-for-4 with one run batted in.

For the second contest of the afternoon, it was a rubber match between Defiance’s Lauren Dicke (Lima, OH / Lima Shawnee) and the Pioneers Jamie Lutes. Each pitcher surrendered a score in the first inning, but did not allow a run through the next five frames, as the scoreboard read 1-1 through the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, DC had runners on second and third but could not manufacture any magic and came away from the inning scoreless. Then in the bottom of the frame, the Jackets cost themselves a game once again with a crucial error in the field. Transylvania had worked a runner to second with two outs, when Pioneer Kayla Hanson blooped a shot to shallow right and the Defiance could not handle the catch allowing the runner from second to score and give the Purple and Gold a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat.

The key statistic in the contest that cost DC was 11 runners left on base. The team just could not capitalize on any of the opportunities it had throughout the game. Dicke pitched spectacular in the tough loss, going 6.2 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with three strikeouts.

Leading the Purple and Gold at the dish were Basinger and junior Kailea Holbrook (Defiance, OH / HS), who each went 2-for-4.

The Yellow Jackets will turn around and be right back in action tomorrow Sunday, April 28 when they host the Manchester Spartans. The matchup will be the team’s final conference games of the 2013 campaign. The first tilt is slated to start at 12 p.m.