DEFIANCE, Ohio – Marah Robinson made her Senior Day one to remember. The senior slugger went six-for-six on the day with five RBI, including a two-run jack that sparked a late-inning rally for Defiance to seal a series sweep at home against Manchester College.
Defiance notched a 7-4 victory in game one and a come-from-behind 8-7 triumph in the nightcap to improve to 8-4 in the conference this season. With four games remaining on the regular-season schedule, Defiance needs just one more win to clinch a return to the HCAC Tournament.
Shauna Bowers got the start in game one and held the Spartans scoreless through the first four innings while Defiance built an early 4-0 cushion. Both teams scored a run in the fifth inning to make it a 5-1 game going into the sixth, and the Spartans suddenly found some life when Kayla Yates smacked a three-run bases-clearing double off the left-center field wall.
Bowers induced a pair of popups to get out of the inning, and the Jackets scored two runs in the bottom of the frame to regain some breathing room. The Spartans got two singles in the top of the seventh and had the tying run at the plate with one out, but again Bowers worked her way through the trouble, this time with a pair of ground outs to end the game.
Game two was a shootout, featuring a combined 31 hits between the two squads. Manchester claimed its largest lead of the day in the fourth inning, when Amy Hommema belted a three-run homer over the left-field wall to give the Spartans a 6-2 advantage. Defiance closed the gap to two runs in the bottom of the frame, and after swapping zeros in the fifth, Manchester tacked on another run in the top of the sixth to put DC behind by three with two more opportunities to bat.
The Jackets only needed one more opportunity, however, as the bats exploded for four runs in the bottom of the inning. Mallory Faling drew a one-out walk to start the rally, and Marah Robinson flipped the momentum in DC's favor with a two-run blast that just cleared the left-center field fence. Kaycee Butt and Katie Miller followed with a pair of singles, and Elizabeth Petrie tied the game, 7-7, with a RBI single up the middle. Stephanie Esquibel knocked another RBI single up the middle to score Miller, and the Jackets took a one-run lead into the seventh.
Manchester's leadoff batter was hit by a pitch to start the seventh, and after two quick outs, Mallory Sims walked to bring up Hommema, who had homered in her last at bat. She made solid contact again, but this time put enough air underneath the ball to allow Aubrie Ridinger to track it down and seal the DC victory.
Bowers got her second win of the day for DC, and now ranks second in the HCAC with nine this season. Robinson's stat line for the day included six hits in six at bats, three runs, three doubles, one home run, one walk, five RBI, 12 total bases and a 2.000 slugging percentage.
Defiance could clinch a playoff berth tomorrow with a win at Rose-Hulman (13-19; 6-8 HCAC). Game one of the doubleheader at Rose is set to begin at 1:00 p.m.