KISSIMMEE, FLA. -- The Defiance College softball team lost both games on its first day of the 2016 season in Kissimmee, Fla. The Yellow Jackets fell, 7-4, against Illinois College and, 4-2, against Carroll (Wisc.) University.
In the opener against Illinois, errors would be the difference maker as four DC errors led to five of Illinois' seven runs in the game. Illinois (1-0) scored four straight runs until the bottom of the third inning when Defiance (0-2) got on the board with a run on a RBI-groundout by sophomore Keri Hupp (Louisville) with bases loaded to make the score 4-1.
The Lady Blues answered the very next inning with two more runs and tacked on another run in the top of the sixth to increase the margin to 7-1. The Yellow Jackets looked to rally and crossed home plate on two occasions in the bottom half of the sixth on a wild pitch and a RBI-single by freshman Jordan Osborne (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) to pull to within four runs, 7-3, heading into the seventh inning.
Following a scoreless top of the seventh, DC edged closer with a run on a wild pitch with runners on second and third that allowed freshman Jackie Hartman (Parma/Padua Franciscan) to score from third. The run would come with just one out, but before the Jackets could score anymore runs, Illinois was able to record the final two groundouts to clinch the 7-4 victory.
Both teams recorded 11 hits in the game with DC having four players record multi-hit games. Osborne ended the game two-of-four with a run scored and a RBI. Hartman also went two-of-four and scored a pair of runs. The other multi-hit performances were turned in by sophomore Haley Patty (Bradford) and freshman Michaela Bauer (Hicksville). Patty went two-of-three at the plate and scored a run, while Bauer went two-of-four.
On the mound, sophomore Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) pitched six innings, but suffered the loss, allowing seven runs, two earned, on 11 hits and struck out four batters. Freshman Jamie Kimbler (Huber Heights/Wayne) finished the game giving up no runs or hits.
Against Carroll, the Pioneers (2-2) took control with a four-run bottom of the second inning to grab the early lead. DC got one of the runs back in the top of the third when sophomore Kaity Kuhn (Celina) found space with a RBI-double to make the score 4-1. The Jackets continued to gain momentum in the fourth with another run despite beginning the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. This time, Patty connected on a double that scored Hartman to make the score 4-2.
The run in the fourth would be the final run scored in the game, however, as the Pioneers held on for the 4-2 win.
The Jackets had another solid effort at the plate against Carroll with nine total hits. Two players posted multiple hits with Hupp and Hartman both finishing two-of-three. Hartman also scored a run.
Kimbler would get the start in game two after an inning of relief in the first game and lasted two innings against the Pioneers, giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits and had one strikeout. Kaya came on to finish the game and pitched four innings allowing no runs on three hits and tallied a strikeout.
Defiance will continue its "southern swing" with two more games tomorrow (Monday, Mar. 7) begining with a matchup against Husson (Maine) University at 1:30 p.m., followed by a game against Hiram College at 3:45 p.m. in Kissimmee, Fla.