WINTER HAVEN, FLA. -- In a repeat of yesterday, the Defiance College softball team split its games losing to Husson (Maine) University in the first game, 2-1, but beating Muskingum University in thrilling walk-off fashion, 3-2, at the Rebel Spring Games in Winter Haven, Fla.
In the game against Husson, Defiance (2-2) grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the first inning on a RBI-double by sophomore catcher Megan Warren (Mason). The Yellow Jackets maintained their one-run lead until the bottom of the fourth when Husson tied the game at 1-1 with a RBI base hit of its own. Husson broke the stalemate in the bottom half of the sixth thanks to a RBI-double to move ahead, 2-1, heading into the seventh. Needing at least a run to keep the game going, the Jackets got the potential tying run on base with a single by freshman pitcher/utility player Haley Patty (Bradford). But with one out and a runner on, DC hit into a game-ending double play that sealed the victory for Husson, 2-1.
Warren ended the game going two-of-three at the plate, in addition to a RBI, to lead the DC offensive attack. Patty, freshman shortstop Brianna Caldwell (Marion/Elgin) and freshman second baseman Kaity Kuhn (Celina) all recorded a base hit. Kuhn also scored the team's only run.
Freshman Calli Bauer (Galion) started on the hill for DC in game one and pitched four innings allowing one run on six hits. She was also credited with the loss and is now 1-1 overall for the season. Fellow freshmen Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) and Haley Patty (Bradford) both pitched an inning of relief. Kaya pitched the fifth inning giving up a run and struck out two hitters and Patty finished the game giving up just a lone hit.
Against Muskingum, Defiance fell behind early as the Fighting Muskies scored a run in the top of the first and second innings for a 2-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to a run in the bottom of the third thanks to a throwing error with a runner on second base which scored on the play making the score, 2-1. The score remained the same heading into the seventh. A lead-off error allowed Patty to reach first base and was moved into scoring position on an ensuing sacrifice bunt by freshman outfielder Paige Huttenlocker (Jackson, Mich./Grass Lake). DC then hit into the second out of the game, but Kuhn hit a single that allowed Huttenlocker to score and tie the game at 2-2. Kuhn advanced to second on the play as Muskingum attempted to throw Huttenlocker out at the plate. Following a hit by pitch and a walk to load the bases, Bauer delivered the game-winning hit on a single scoring the runner from third and claiming the 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
DC had six hits in the game with six different Yellow Jacket players each getting a hit. Bauer went one-of-two with a RBI, while Kuhn went one-of-three with two RBI. Patty also recorded a one-of-three effort at the plate and scored two of the team's three runs. Senior second baseman Tori Plummer (Perrysburg), who came in to run for Huttenlocker in the seventh, scored DC's other run and the game winner.
Patty started at pitcher and pitched a complete game and got her first collegiate win. She allowed two runs on six hits and struck out four batters.
Defiance will have its "off-day" tomorrow and will resume its Florida schedule on Wednesday (Mar. 11) when the Yellow Jackets take on Coe (Iowa) College and Westminster (Pa.) College. DC will play Coe at 12:15 p.m., followed by Westminster at 2:30 p.m.