DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College softball team needed extra innings in both games of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference twinbill and came away with a split against Hanover (Ind.) College, dropping the first game, 1-0 in eight innings, but winning the second, 5-4 also in eight innings.
Defiance (5-15, 1-5 HCAC) totaled just a lone hit in game one, but the Yellow Jacket bats recovered in game two with 12 knocks. Sophomore Megan Warren (Mason) went hitless in the opener, but led the Jackets with a three-of-four effort in the nightcap in addition to scoring a run and a RBI. Freshman Emily Kauble (New Bloomington/Elgin) finished two-of-four in game two and had a RBI. Senior Brittany Shough (DeGraff/Riverside) rounded out the multi-hitters with a two-of-four showing to go along with a RBI.
The second game featured some theatrics as Defiance jumped out early scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI-single by Warren. Hanover (9-7, 1-3 HCAC) came right back in the second with a pair of runs on a two-run homerun and took a 2-1 lead. The Jackets answered with a run in third to even the game at 2-2 thanks to a RBI-single by Kauble. The Panthers regained the lead crossing the plate twice in the top of the fourth, but Defiance rallied again with runs in the fourth and fifth innings that included a RBI base hit by Shough and a sacrifice fly by freshman Calli Bauer (Galion) to even the score at 4-4. The game remained deadlocked after regulation, sending the game into extras. Following a scoreless top of the eighth by Hanover, freshman Paige Huttenlocker (Jackson, Mich./Grass Lake) began the inning on second base. DC recorded back-to-back strikeouts to begin their half of the inning, but then freshman Kaity Kuhn (Celina) reached on an error that allowed Huttenlocker to score on a bizarre play that included an appeal by the Jackets. Following the discussion, all runners were declared safe, giving DC a 5-4 victory.
On the mound, freshman Haley Patty (Bradford) started the game and pitched four innings allowing four runs, two earned, on three hits. Freshman Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) came on to close out the game and finished as the pitcher of record to claim her second win of the season. In four innings, she allowed no runs and just three hits, while striking out a pair of hitters.
In game one, DC threatend in the bottom of the first with runners on first and second base, but could not plate any runs. The two teams then combined for three straight innings with three consecutive outs. Both teams got a runner in scoring position late in the game, but neither team could record the game-winning run, keeping the game scoreless after seven complete innings. Hanover scored a run in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to go up 1-0. In the bottom of the inning, the Jackets advanced the runner to third base with only an out. But the Panther defense got the Jackets to record back-to-back outs to seal the game, 1-0.
The lone hit for DC in game one was recorded by freshman Brianna Caldwell (Marion/Elgin) who went one-of-three overall.
Kaya started on the mound and pitched a complete game giving up just the lone run and stuck out two batters.
Defiance is scheduled to travel to Bluffton for a HCAC doubleheader against Bluffton University on Monday, Apr. 6. The first game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.