After pulling two upsets on the first day of the MCC conference tournament, the #5-seeded Forester softball
team put together a solid second day effort but came up short against the top two teams to finish third in the tourney.
In first round action the Foresters outhit Spring Arbor 8-1 to steal the 5-0 win from the #4 Cougars. Megan Smith got the Foresters rolling with her first moon shot of the season to give HU the 1-0 advantage in the second inning. Katie Bower's RBI-single in the next inning pushed their lead to 2-0 but the fourth inning proved to be the final dagger. After singles by Jeanine Vaszari, Brandi Gower and Aubrey Garner to load the bases, Bowers drew the walk to plate Huntington's third run. Kate Dwyer finished things up with a single to center that knocked in two more runs to advance HU to the semi-finals. Molly Long turned in a spectacular performance on the mound only giving up one hit while striking out seven to pick up the win. At the plate, Bowers paced HU with two hits and two RBI.
In semi-final action #1 Marian suffered their first loss to a conference team this season at the hands of the Foresters. The game started much like the first except this time it was Melissa Werling who knocked one out of the park to give HU the 1-0 lead in their first at-bats. The Knights responded with two runs in bottom of the frame and added another in the third to go up 3-1 but the Foresters stormed back. After Garner opened up the sixth with a single, Bowers tied things up with a four-base knock to send the game into extra innings. It was Bowers again who came up big in the eighth by recording her second homer of the game to give HU the well-deserved win. Long went the distance to pick up her second win of the day. She gave up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Bowers led the Foresters with her two homeruns and three RBI.
After splitting with Bethel earlier in the season, the #2 Pilots won the rubber match when it really mattered beating the Foresters 3-1 in the finals of the MCC tourney. Huntington struggled at the plate with the only offensive highlight coming in the second inning when Brita Kuiper sent one over the center field fence to give HU their only lead of the game 1-0. Bethel went on to score runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings which was more than enough to hand HU their first loss of the tournament and send them into the consolation bracket. Long took the loss for the Foresters giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and four walks while striking out six. Kuiper recorded the lone hit for the Foresters.
Less than 24 hours after beating Marian, the Foresters had to turn around and play the Knights again but this time the outcome wasn't as favorable for HU. Marian jumped out to a 6-1 lead after the first four innings but Bowers blast to right-center in the fifth gave the Foresters the boost they needed as Smith followed with an RBI-double later in the inning to cut the lead to 6-3. HU carried their momentum into the sixth by plating four runs on five hits to take the 7-6 advantage but the Knights stormed back in the bottom of the frame. With the bases loaded, Helen Rogers unloaded one to left-center to clear the bags and quickly dissolve the Foresters' lead. Marian went on to score two more runs in the innings to take the 12-7 advantage. With one last chance the Foresters weren't ready to lay down and die. After loading the bases with three consecutive base pokes by Brandi Gower, Abby Dilling and Garner, Bowers knocked in two runs with a single to center to close within 12-9 but the Knights held HU in check to get the final two outs and claim the hard fought victory. Long, who came in relief for Stacie Rawnsley, recorded the loss for HU. In two innings of work she gave up six runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out two. Bowers led the Foresters at the plate with four hits and three RBI.
The Foresters finished third in the MCC tournament and wrapped up their season with a 21-21 record.