DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College softball team played a pair of closely contested games, but could not come out on top on the scoreboard against Anderson (Ind.) University losing both games, 6-1 and 2-1, of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Sal Hench Field.
In game one, Defiance (5-19, 1-9 HCAC) scored the game's first run in the bottom of the third inning on a RBI single by sophomore Emily Denhard (Troy, Mich./Kolbe Academy) after freshman Brianna Caldwell (Marion/Elgin) stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. The lead remained a run for the Yellow Jackets until the top of the fifth inning when Anderson (13-5, 5-1 HCAC) crossed the plate twice. The runs were part of a 6-0 scoring run by the Ravens as Anderson went on to score three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh to lead 6-1. In DC's final at-bats, the Jackets hit into consecutive outs to end the game, giving the victory to Anderson.
DC totaled three hits in the game with two of those hits coming off the bat of Caldwell who finished two-of-three overall in addition to the run scored. Denhard recorded the only other hit and went one-of-two with a RBI.
Freshman pitcher Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) pitched five and two-thirds innings, but suffered the loss, dropping her to 2-9 overall for the season. She allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits and struck out seven batters. Freshman Sydni Smith (Jackson, Mich./Lumen Christi) pitched the final inning-and-a-third giving up one run on two hits and had a strikeout.
In the nightcap, Anderson struck first, but not until the top of the fourth inning with a run to grab a 1-0 lead. The lead didn't last long as DC answered wtih a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame on a RBI double by freshman Haley Patty (Bradford) with two outs following a lead-off single by freshman Kristin Aslanian (Trenton, Mich./Trenton) to begin the inning. The Jackets continued to threaten with bases loaded later in the inning, but the Ravens were able to get DC to record the final out before any additional runs could score, keeping the game tied at 1-1. The game remained tied heading into the seventh inning when Anderson took advantage of bases loaded with only one out. The Ravens scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to go up, 2-1. Defiance then ended the threat the very next Anderson at-bat by recording the third out to trail by only a run going into the bottom of the seventh. Junior Megan Pleskovic (Strongsville) led off the inning with a pinch-hit walk and was moved over into scoring position on the ensuing at-bat via a sacrifice bunt. But a sharply hit line drive that was caught by the Anderson shortstop who then threw over to second base to complete the game-ending double play sealed the 2-1 win for the Ravens.
The DC bats accounted for six hits in game two by six different players. Junior Sandra Hubler (Berea) ended the game one-of-two. Patty posted a one-of-three effort to go along with the RBI. Freshman Kaity Kuhn (Celina), sophomore Megan Warren (Mason), Aslanian and senior Brittany Shough (DeGraff/Riverside) all recorded hits and all were one-of-three.
On the mound, Patty pitched her fifth complete game of the sesaon going all seven innings, allowing two runs on nine hits.
Defiance returns to action tomorrow (Sunday, Apr. 12) with a non-conference doubleheader against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College at Hench Field. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.