ADRIAN, Mich. – The Yellow Jackets took on the No. 14 ranked NCAA Div. III softball team in the country on Saturday, when they traveled to Michigan for a doubleheader with the Adrian College Bulldogs (22-0). DC gave Adrian all it could handle before walking away with a pair of losses.
Adrian's Kelly Eberhardt struck out the side in the opening inning, and the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead when Sarah Hall smacked her fifth homerun of the season with two outs in the bottom of the frame. Shauna Bowers struck out the next batter to end the frame, and made quick work of Adrian's five through seven batters in the second inning to keep the score tight.
Defiance tied the score, 1-1, in the top of third, when Aubrie Ridinger recorded DC's first hit of the game with a leadoff single up the middle, and came in to score on an RBI single to right field from Tasha Stucke. From that point forward, Bowers and Eberhardt were locked in, and the two teams swapped zeros for the next four innings while their pitchers battled it out.
Bowers struck out the first batter of the seventh inning, but Adrian's Amara Karapas came up next and ended the game with a walk-off home run. It was just the second hit of the game for the Bulldogs, and their second solo homerun of the contest.
Defiance struck first in game two. Macy Ferrall led off the second inning with an infield single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kaycee Butt. Stephanie Esquibel kept the inning going with a single to the second baseman, and Katelyn Samples picked up the RBI with a ground ball to third base.
Adrian got a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning, and tied the game at one run apiece with one out. The Bulldogs recorded three hits in the inning, but DC's starting pitcher, Kelly Schnipke, induced two-straight groundouts to escape the inning with minimal damage.
Both teams went scoreless in the third, before Adrian broke the game open with three runs on two hits in the bottom of the fourth. After a groundout to third base to start the inning, Adrian's next two batters reached safely on errors. Katie Dewyre followed with an RBI single up the middle, and Kristin Toney finished the damage with a two-run double down the left field line.
Adrian tacked on another run in the fifth, and after swapping zeros in the sixth, Defiance needed four runs to tie going into the final inning. Ridinger led off the inning with a single up the middle, and Elizabeth Petrie followed with a single to left field, giving DC two runners on with no outs and the heart of lineup coming up to bat. Eberhardt, pitching in relief, dug in to record three-straight outs, however, and the Bulldogs kept their undefeated season intact with a 5-1 decision.
Defiance will play its final non-conference opponent of the regular season on Tuesday, April 5, in a doubleheader at Denison University (13-3). Game one is set for 3:00 p.m.