KISSIMMEE, FLA. -- The Defiance College softball team lost their opener, 4-1, to Cornell (Iowa) College, but finished the Rebel Spring Games with a 3-2 victory against St. Joseph's (N.Y.) College in Kissimmee Fla.
In the matchup against Cornell, the Yellow Jackets (4-6) kicked off the early contest on the right foot by plating a run in the bottom of the first inning via a double by senior Megan Warren (Mason) with runners on first and second base to give Defiance an early 1-0 lead.
Cornell got the run back in the second frame with a run-scoring single to tie the game at 1-1. The Rams then added a pair of runs in the third inning with a two-run homerun to extend the Cornell lead to 3-1.
Cornell pitching would allow just two Defiance hits in the final four innings of play, as the Rams added an insurnace run in the seventh inning to bring home a 4-1 victory.
Juinor pitcher Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) had a quality outing in the contest, throwing five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits to go along with a strikeout. Junior Sydni Smith (Jackson, Mich./Lumen Christi) came on to pitch the final two frames and gave up one run on four hits, while fanning three Ram hitters.
All three hits for Defiance came from Warren, who capped the game going three-for-three with two doubles and a RBI.
The Yellow Jackets started game two against St. Joseph's in a similar fashion to how they started game one with a run in the first inning, this time on a defensive error to take a quick 1-0 lead.
St. Joseph's (1-5) responded in the bottom of the second after a one-out walk led to a RBI-base hit to tie the game at 1-1.
Defiance took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the third as junior Kaity Kuhn (Celina) led off with a double and later lead to another run for the Jackets as the result of another defensive error. The Golden Eagles quickly tied the contest in their half of the inning on a RBI-single with runners on first and seocnd making the score 2-2.
Both teams were quiet in the fourth inning, but Kuhn led off with another base-hit in the fifth. Two batters later, Kuhn came around to score the eventual game-winning run on a double from Warren.
Freshman pitcher Sydney Zeuch (Mason/Mount Notre Dame) breezed through the fifth and sixth innings before St. Joseph's threatened with a seventh inning rally, leading off with a walk and scattering three hits. Smith came on in relief and made the Golden Eagles fly into a double-play to end the threat and secure the 3-2 victory.
Sophomore Jamie Kimbler (Huber Heights/Wayne) threw the first four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in the no-decision. Zeuch threw 2.1 scoreless innings in relief to pick up the victory, while Smith collected the save after throwing the game-ending double play.
Kuhn and Warren led the bats once again in the nightcap. Kuhn finished the contest three-of-four with two singles, a double, and two runs scored. Warren was two-for-four with two RBI doubles, while freshman Brooke Gostomsky (Dayton/Covington) wrapped up her time in Florida with a two-for-four performance, scattering a pair of singles.
Defiance will retrun to action with their home debuts on Wednesday, Mar. 15, as the Yellow Jackets do battle with Heidelberg University. The first game is set for a 3:30 p.m. start at Sal Hench Field.