WINTER HAVEN, FLA. -- The Defiance College softball team began the 2015 season with a two-game split on its first day competing in the Rebel Spring Games in Winter Haven, Fla. The Yellow Jackets defeated Albion (Mich.) College, 8-5, in game one, but fell to Carroll (Wisc.) University, 3-0, in the nightcap.
Defiance (1-1) grabbed the lead against Albion with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning thanks to a RBI-double by senior outfielder Brittany Shough (DeGraff/Riverside) and a sacrifice flyout by junior first baseman Sandra Hubler (Berea). Albion came right back in the bottom of the third with three runs and then added another run in the fourth to lead, 4-2. The Yellow Jackets then took the lead with a six-run sixth inning highlighted by a pair of two-RBI singles by freshman shortstop Brianna Caldwell (Marion/Elgin) and freshman second baseman Kaity Kuhn (Celina) to make the score 8-4 in favor of DC. Albion got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning on a double with one out, but the Jacket defense then recorded both remaining outs to end the inning and held the Brits scoreless in the seventh to seal the 8-5 victory.
DC recorded 12 hits in the game with five players finishing with multi-hit efforts. Caldwell and Shough both went two-of-four at the plate with a run scored and a pair of RBI. Kuhn and sophomore catcher Megan Warren (Mason) both tallied two hits in three at-bats with Kuhn adding two RBI and Warren scoring a pair of runs. In addition, junior third baseman Megan Pleskovic (Strongsville) also batted two-of-three and also scored a run.
On the mound, freshman Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) started the game and pitched two and two-thirds innings allowing three runs on two hits and had three strikeouts. Fellow freshman Calli Bauer (Galion) came on to replace Kaya in the third inning and pitched the final four-and-a-third innings to pick up her first collegiate victory. She allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and struck out two batters.
In the nightcap against Carroll, the DC offense was held to just three hits in the game. Carroll grabbed the early lead crossing the plate twice in the top of the first inning on a single and double. The Pioneers went on to add another run in the third to go up by the score of 3-0. The three runs would prove to be all that Carroll needed as the Pioneers went on to post the 3-0 shutout.
Caldwell, Kuhn and Kaya were the three DC players to record a base hit in the game. Caldwell and Kuhn both went one-of-three, while Kaya was a perfect one-for-one.
Freshman Haley Patty (Bradford) got the nod in game two on the mound and pitched five complete innings giving up three runs on nine hits. She was credited with the loss, but tallied three strikeouts. Kaya pitched the final two innings allowing no runs and just two hits with one strikeout.
Defiance returns to action tomorrow (Monday, Mar. 9) with two more games beginning with a matchup against Husson (Maine) University at 10 a.m., followed by a game against Muskingum University at 12;15 p.m.