CINCINNATI, OHIO -- The Defiance College softball team earned a 6-2 opening game victory, before dropping a lengthy nightcap, 7-6, in 12 innings to Mount St. Joseph University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup in Cincinnati.
The Yellow Jackets started the day with three quick first inning runs off of just three hits, as senior Megan Warren (Mason) and freshman Brooke Gostomsky (Covington) garnered RBI singles. The inning wrapped up with a groundout from Kaity Kuhn (Celina) that scored Warren and led to a 3-0 advantage. MSJ got on the board in the second inning before a solo home run by Michaela Bauer (Hicksville) bumped the DC lead to 4-1.
Defiance scored their final runs of the contest in the sixth, Gostomsky and Jackie Hartman (Parma/Padua Franciscan) had back-to-back run-scoring singles to put Defiance ahead, 6-1. MSJ attempted a rally with a run in the seventh, but it was not enough as Defiance won the opener, 6-2.
Junior Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) improved to 6-7 with the win, allowing two runs on nine hits in the complete game effort. Kaya also struck out three Lions in the win.
Gostomsky led the DC offense, hitting a perfect three-of-three with a pair of RBI, while Hartman and Warren finished the game with two hits apiece, with Warren tacking on two runs scored.
The second game saw Defiance drop in heartbreaking fashion on a two-out single in the 12th inning by MSJ, making the Yellow Jackets fall, 7-6.
Gostomsky continued her hot bat from the opener with a solo home run in the second inning to put Defiance in front, 1-0. After the Lions took the lead with a two-run bomb of their own, Warren answered with a two-run single up the middle to score Bauer and freshman Jess Mello (Vermilion) that gave DC a 3-2 edge. The score remained the same until the sixth inning, when a lead-off solo home run tied the game at, 3-3, and eventually sent the game to extra frames.
Haley Patty (Bradford) scored on a sac fly by Bauer to give Defiance a lead in the eighth, but MSJ responded with a run and kept the score tied at 4-4. Both teams were scoreless in the ninth, but a sac fly by Hartman scored Gostomsky to put DC back in front. The Lions would not go away and tied the game at 5-5 off a Defiance error. Each team would score again in the 11th, before MSJ ended the contest with a single to the shortstop, giving them a thrilling, 7-6, victory in the nightcap.
Sydney Zeuch started for DC, giving up two runs on seven hits. Jamie Kimbler came on in relief, to give up just one run on three hits in three frames. Kaya returned to throw the final 4.2 innings of the contest and is credited with allowing zero runs on three hits.
Kuhn and Bauer both led the Yellow Jacket offense, garnering two hits apiece in the tough loss.
Defiance returns to conference play on Wednesday, April 12 as the Manchester (Ind.) University Spartans come to Sal Hench Field for a doubleheader. The first game is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.