HU earns program's first Regional berth

 The Foresters headed into the Mid-Central Conference Tournament as the fifth-seed and played their way to a third place finish and the program's first berth in the NAIA Region VIII Tournament.

In their opening game, HU faced the #4 seed and tournament host Indiana Wesleyan. The Foresters held a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh, but the Wildcats tied things up with a run in their half of the frame. In the extra inning, HU's Brittany Gower got an infield hit to push across the winning run.

The Foresters then met top-seeded Bethel College in the winner's bracket. The Pilots took care of business and sent HU to the loser's racket with a 9-0 shutout.

In their final game on day one, the Foresters knocked St. Francis from the tournament with a 3-1 verdict. HU's Megan Smith belted a two-out, two-run home run in the second inning that became the eventual game-winner and Forester hurler Lauren Ward made the lead stick by striking out 14 Cougars in the contest.

To begin day two, the Foresters and Marian met with a berth in the NAIA Region VIII Tournament at stake. The Knights had downed HU twice during the regular season and were looking to make it three in a row.

The game remained scoreless through six innings and then finally, the Foresters broke through with two runs. A leadoff single was followed by an error to put runners on the corners with no outs. Smith again came up big for HU with a RBI-double to center and then later scored on a RBI-ground out to give the Foresters a 2-0 lead heading into the final half inning.

Ward, HU's ace on the mound, then closed out her third victory of the tournament by retiring the Knights in the bottom of the seventh.

The Foresters then faced Spring Arbor for a chance to play in the title game against Bethel. The Cougars scored nine runs in one inning and never looked back as they bounced HU from the tournament 12-4.

The Foresters will return to action on Tuesday, May 6 when they travel to Lakeville, Indiana to play in the NAIA Region VIII Tournament.


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director