LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Yellow Jackets were six outs away from claiming their third HCAC Championship in four seasons, but Anderson rallied to beat Defiance and claim the conference crown. DC fell 3-0 in game one and suffered a 6-4 extra-inning loss in the nightcap to end its postseason run.
Defiance held the Ravens' offense in check in a 2-1 victory during the opening day of action at the HCAC Tournament on Friday afternoon, but the Ravens needed just two batters to surpass that run total on Saturday. AU's Katie Lee led off the game with a triple to right field, and Amy Wuestefeld followed with a single to right field that scored Lee and eventually developed into a second run after an error by the right fielder. Lee doubled in her next at bat to lead off the third inning for Anderson, and came home on a RBI single up the middle from Katy Ogden to give the Ravens a 3-0 lead.
The Jackets' offense never got on track during the game, and finished with no runs on just two hits. Defiance had a potential scoring opportunity in the fifth, when Elizabeth Petrie led off with a walk and Elizabeth Huffman was hit by a pitch to give the Jackets a pair of runners with no outs, but a sacrifice bunt followed by back-to-back fly outs ended the inning with no runs. DC's bats remained quiet the rest of the way, and Anderson claimed the 3-0 victory to set up a winner-takes-all championship match.
The game began with two scoreless innings followed by an hour-long rain delay. When play resumed, DC took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, when Tasha Stucke led off with a walk and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Mallory Faling. Marah Robinson came up next and ripped an infield single to the shortstop, which resulted in an errant throw to first base that allowed Stucke to trot home and break the scoreless tie.
Anderson responded quickly with two runs on three hits in the top of the fourth. Natalie Moorhouse began the inning with a walk, and Allie Hoover followed with a single to left field. Kourtney Allender put down a bunt to advance the runners to second and third base, and beat the throw to first base to load the bags with just one out. Schnipke induced a ground ball to second base from the next batter, and Macy Ferrall made the force-out play at home to prevent the run. The Ravens would produce two runs with their next batter, however, as Megan Kruse sent a two-run single up the middle to give Anderson a 2-1 advantage.
The Jackets reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth, when Stucke and Faling began the inning with back-to-back doubles to tie the game, 2-2, with no outs. Katelyn Samples pinch ran for Faling at second base, and advanced to third on a wild pitch before sprinting home on another wild pitch to put Defiance back ahead by one.
DC's lead didn't last long, however, as Moorhouse led off the top of the sixth with a single to left field and eventually made it home on an RBI bunt from Allender. Defiance went scoreless in the bottom of the sixth and seventh, pushing the game into extra innings.
After three-straight scoreless innings, Anderson went up 4-3 in the top of the 11th on a sacrifice fly to right field from Stephanie Atkins. Defiance evened things up again in the bottom of the inning with a RBI single up the middle from Stucke, and the game went into the top of the 12th locked at 4-4.
Anderson got back-to-back doubles in the top of the inning to plate two runs and take the 6-4 lead. Defiance was unable to respond this time, and Anderson pulled off its third win of the day to claim the 2011 HCAC Championship. Defiance ends the season with a 20-22 overall record and a 10-6 mark in conference play.
Transylvania University officials released their list of HCAC All-Tournament performers immediately following the game, with DC's Shauna Bowers, Tasha Stucke, Marah Robinson and Macy Ferrall each receiving the honor.