DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Freshman pitcher Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) tallied nine strikeouts in game one, but the Defiance College softball team lost a doubleheader against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent Manchester (Ind.) University, 5-3 in nine innings and 10-2 in five innings, at Sal Hench Field.
The first game needed extra frames to declare a winner as both teams had strong performances at the plate with the squads combining for 21 base hits. Defiance (7-21, 1-11 HCAC) ended the game with 10 of those hits, led by freshman Kaity Kuhn (Celina) who went four-of-five and had a RBI. Junior Megan Pleskovic (Strongsville) also had multiple hits and finished two-of-four to go along with a RBI.
Kaya pitched her team-leading eighth complete game of the season, but allowed five runs, one earned, on 11 hits and struck out nine batters. She is now 4-10 overall for the sesaon with the loss.
Manchester (11-10, 6-4 HCAC) scored first with a run in the top of the second inning. The Yellow Jackets answered back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third on RBI singles by Kuhn and Pleskovic to take a 2-1 lead. The lead remained a run for DC until the top of the sixth when the Spartans plated the game-tying run on a RBI single with bases loaded. The Jackets managed to hold the damage to a single run in the inning and neither team would score the game winner during the remainder of regulation, sending the game into extras. Following a scoreless eighth, Manchester finally broke the stalemate crossing the plate three times in the ninth to move ahead, 5-2. In the bottom of the inning, DC scored a run on a groundout by freshman Haley Patty (Bradford) following a wild pitch that advanced the Yellow Jacket base runner from second to third. Kuhn got on base with a single on the ensuing at-bat, but the Spartans then recorded the game-ending out to claim the 5-3 come-from behind win.
In game two, the Manchester offense came out with all cylinders firing as the Spartans put up five runs in the top of the first for an early 5-0 lead. Manchester added to its lead in the second with a two-run homerun making the score 7-0. Defiance made a dent in the Spartan lead in the bottom of the fourth with a run on a RBI single by sophomore Megan Warren (Mason) cutting the deficit to 7-1. Manchester then tallied three more runs in the fifth that included another homerun, this time a solo shot, to go up by more than eight runs putting the mercy rule into effect, 10-1. DC would have a chance to cut into the deficit in their half of the inning and had bases loaded with no outs. The Jackets later plated a run on a fielder's choice, but could not get any more runs across home plate as the Spartans went on win by the final of 10-2.
Warren recorded the only hit for DC in the game and finished one-of-two in addition to a RBI.
Patty started the game for the Jackets on the mound, but went an inning-and-a-third allowing seven runs on eight hits and had one strikeout. Freshman Sydni Smith (Jackson, Mich./Lumen Christi) came on in relief and pitched the final three and two-thirds innings giving up three runs, one earned, on nine hits and tallied a strikeout.
Defiance will next travel to Cincinnati for a HCAC doubleheader against Mount St. Joseph University on Saturday, Apr. 18. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.