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Defiance Splits Pair of Extra-Inning Thrillers with Albion

Defiance Splits Pair of Extra-Inning Thrillers with Albion

ALBION, Mich. – Defiance scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to claim a 4-2 win in the opening game of its non-conference twinbill with Albion College. The Britons would use some late-inning magic of their own in the nightcap to snap DC's four-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory.

The Jackets used a great pitching performance from Justine Johnston to take the first game of the doubleheader, as the three-time All-HCAC selection tossed a two-hit shutout through the opening five innings.

DC was able to give Johnston some run support in the sixth, pushing two runs across to break a scoreless tie. Mallory Faling's single down the left field line scored Allison Ramsay, before Katelyn Samples crossed the plate on Tasha Stucke's groundout to give Defiance a 2-0 advantage heading into the home half of the inning.

After Johnston escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, Albion would finally ruin the starter' s shutout bid with Jessica Stange's game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh.

The Jackets would not let the game slip away, punching in two runs in the next frame. Allison Ramsay was placed on second to start the eighth due to the international tie-breaker, before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Amanda Auzins drove in what turned out to be the game's winning run with single up the middle, while Aarika Davis' RBI single scored Auzins to help Defiance add an insurance run.

Johnston escaped the eighth inning unharmed to record her ninth victory of the season, giving up two runs on just six hits. The complete-game effort moved the senior hurler into a tie with Sarah Harman for second in DC's all-time record book with the 72nd complete game of her career.

DC drew first blood in third inning of the finale, as Auzins scored on Davis' second RBI single of the afternoon to put the Jackets out in front, 1-0. The Britons responded with a run of their own in the bottom half to knot the game at one run apiece.

Defiance, who recorded nine hits in the nightcap, struggled to convert on its opportunities, stranding 11 runners in the game. However, starter Kelly Schnipke picked up the slack to keep DC in the contest, holding Albion scoreless over the next four frames to send the two teams into extra innings for the second-straight game.

The Jackets took advantage of the tie-breaker rule in the eighth, as Melanie Bushman drove in Stucke with a single to put Defiance up, 2-1. However, the Britons got a pair of clutch hits in the home half to pull out the victory, plating two runs in the inning.

Schnipke lost for the first time in her last five starts, after only surrendering three runs, two earned, in 7.2 innings of work.

Davis and Auzins each pushed their hitting streaks to five games, as Davis led DC with four hits and two RBI on the afternoon while Auzins added three hits and a pair of runs.

Defiance (17-10) returns to action on Monday, April 13, when it travels to Granville, Ohio for a twinbill with the Denison University Big Red. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.