KISSIMMEE, FLA. -- The Defiance College softball team rallied from a pair of losses yesterday with a pair of victories on the second day of its "southern swing" with a 4-0 shutout against Husson (Maine) University and a 15-7 drubbing of Hiram College in Kissimmee, Fla.
Against Husson, all of the runs scored in the game came in the first two innings with Defiance (2-2) crossing the plate twice in each frame. The Yellow Jackets scored their first two runs on back-to-back RBI-doubles by sophomore Kaity Kuhn (Celina) and junior Megan Warren (Mason) in the bottom of the first inning.
DC padded its lead in the second that included another RBI-double by Kuhn to extend the margin to 4-0. Husson (1-3) had two excellent scoring chances in the fifth and sixth innings with multiple runners on base and included having bases loaded in the fifth. But solid defense led by sophomore pitcher Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) held the Eagles scoreless throughout, preserving the 4-0 shutout.
The Jackets tallied nine hits against Husson led by a trio of players with two hits. Juinor Emily Denhard (Troy, Mich./Kolbe Academy) finished a perfect two-for-two. Kuhn and freshman Jordan Osborne (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) both went two-of-three with Kuhn scoring a run and two RBI, while Osborne scored a pair of runs. Warren finished the game one-of-three overall to go along with her RBI.
Kaya pitched a complete game to claim her first win of the season and improve to 1-1 overall. She allowed no runs on five hits and had three strikeouts.
In game two against Hiram, both teams traded a pair of runs in the first inning with Defiance's runs coming on a two-run homerun by Warren. The Jackets then took the lead in the top of the second with two more runs that included a RBI-single by senior Makayla McAvoy (Mt. Gilead) and a sacrifice fly by Warren to make the score 4-2. Hiram got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the second and then evened the game at 4-4 with another run in the third.
DC regained the lead in the fourth by crossing the plate twice thanks to a RBI-base hit by freshman Jackie Hartman (Parma/Padua-Franciscan) and a sacrifice fly by senior Sandra Hubler (Berea) to make the score 6-4. But the lead didn't last long as the Terriers answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to go ahead, 7-6.
The Jackets then went on an offensive tear, scoring nine unanswered runs with three runs in the fifth, five in the sixth and one more run in the seventh. Defiance's runs in the fifth came on a double by Kuhn, a sac fly by Hartman and a defensive error. The Jacket five-run sixth included a series of RBI-base hits from Kuhn, Warren, freshman Michaela Bauer (Hicksville), a sac fly by Hartman and a bases loaded walk by Hubler. DC's final run of the game would come on a RBI-single by Kuhn as the Jackets cruised to the 15-7 victory.
Defiance totaled 17 hits in the game and Kuhn continued to have a hot bat with four hits in six at-bats to go along with two runs scored and three RBI. Warren finished perfect at the plate going three-of-three with two runs scored and four RBI. Denhard also had a three-hit game and finished three-of-four overall with four runs scored. Rounding out the multi-hitters was Hartman with a two-of-three effort to go along with three RBI. Five other players each recorded a base hit in the win.
Sophomore Sydni Smith (Jackson, Mich./Lumen Christi) started on the hill for DC and pitched three innings and allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits to go along with one strikeout. Kaya came on in relief and pitched the final four innings giving up three runs on six hits and posted three strikeouts. She would end up as the pitcher of record and claimed her second win of the day, and the season, to improve to 2-1 overall.
Defiance will look to keep the momentum going tomorrow (Tuesday, Mar. 8) with a pair of games beginning with a matchup against Baldwin Wallace University at 9 a.m. The Jackets will then take on Widener (Pa.) University at 11:15 a.m. in Kissimmee, Fla.