Huntington, Ind. - Playing in their final doubleheader of the regular season, the HU softball team (25-5) came up short against non-conference foe Robert Morris University (Chicago), losing both games, 3-2 and 1-0, on Saturday afternoon.
The hot-hitting Foresters as of late struggled to get things going as starting pitcher Jennifer Burns kept them guessing, surrendering only four hits and three walks while striking out eight. Molly Long seemed to have a similar affect on the Eagles through much of the contest but three base hits by the home team in the second inning gave Robert Morris an early 1-0 lead.
Fast forward to the seventh inning when HU finally came to life. After only five Foresters reached base through the first six innings, Brita Kuiper sparked a late-game rally with a single to center followed by Lindsay Shellabarger’s clutch two-run blast over the left field fence to push HU ahead 2-1 and give the faithful few something to cheer about. It was a short-lived celebration as the Eagles loaded the bases on an infield error, single and walk and then polished off the game with a single down the right field line allowing two base runners to trot home for the win.
Molly Long took the loss for HU giving up three runs, two earned, on ten hits and one walk while striking out one. Shellabarger had two of the Foresters’ four hits. She also scored a run and drove in two more.
The nightcap was a pitcher’s duel in which Eagle hurler Samantha Arenkill outlasted freshman Marcie McDougle for the 1-0 win. As such, it was a quiet seven innings of offense as neither team put runs on the board sending the game into extra innings. The Eagles finally got the break they needed in the eighth when Kelly Petersen, who had already logged two of the Eagles' first five hits, stepped up to the plate with a runner in scoring position and smacked one into right center to drive in the winning run and give her team their 27th win of the season.
In eight innings of work, McDougle gave up six hits, one run and one walk while striking out three in the losing effort. Offensively, the Foresters scattered six hits and left ten batters stranded. Bowers paced the Foresters with two hits.
The Foresters head into the MCC conference tournament slated for this Wednesday and Thursday as the No. 2 seed with a league record of 13-3. They will face No. 7 seed Goshen College at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.