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Jackets Split With Bluffton to Stay Atop HCAC Standings

Jackets Split With Bluffton to Stay Atop HCAC Standings

BLUFFTON, Ohio – Defiance scored a run in four of its final five innings in the nightcap, bringing home a 6-2 victory over Bluffton University to split the HCAC twinbill with the Beavers on Wednesday, April 1. The Jackets, who are currently in a three-way tie for the top spot in the conference, dropped the opener 8-1.

Trailing 1-0 after two innings in the second game of the doubleheader, DC used back-to-back homeruns to grab its first lead of the afternoon.  Marah Robinson knotted the game in third, sending a one-out shot sailing over the fence in center field. Not to be outdone, fellow sophomore Mallory Faling followed up Robinson's long ball with a solo blast of her own to give the Jackets a 2-1 advantage.

Defiance added insurance runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, opening up a 4-1 advantage. Stephanie Lieto's double to right center plated in Amanda Auzins in the fourth inning, before Melanie Bushman's bloop single down the right field line in the fifth scored Marah Robinson.

Auzins helped push the Jacket lead to five, 6-1, in the top of the seventh, driving in Robinson and Katelyn Samples with a two-out double to right center. Bluffton put a run across in the bottom half of the inning, but Robinson would snag a fly ball one batter later for the final out of the ballgame to derail the rally.

DC starter Kelly Schnipke held the Beavers' offense in check, limiting Bluffton to two runs on six hits in a complete-game effort. The sophomore improved to 5-3 on the season with the victory.

Bluffton controlled the opening game of the HCAC doubleheader, using an impressive offensive attack to grab the victory. The Beavers tagged Justine Johnston for eight runs, seven earned, on ten hits, as the senior lost for just the second time in her last seven starts.

Defiance tallied five hits in the contest, but hurt itself with nine strikeouts and six runners left stranded. Kayla Crager drove in DC's lone run of the game, hitting a solo shot to straight-away center field in the second inning.

Crager and Robinson each had three hits on the day to lead the Jackets, while Auzins, Bushman and Faling all tallied a pair of base knocks.

Defiance (13-8) returns to friendly confines of Sal Hench Field on Saturday, April 4, when it hosts Rose-Hulman for a HCAC doubleheader. The opening game of the twinbill is set to begin at 2:00 p.m.