Huntington, Ind. - The Forester softball team didn’t fair quite so well on day two of the double elimination MCC tournament as they dropped a pair of games on Thursday to end their run at a conference tournament championship.
The first loss of the day came against the top-seeded Bethel College Pilots who came out swinging their way to a 9-0 victory. Seven of the Pilots’ runs came by way of the long ball as three different players knocked at least one out of the park. Back-to-back homers in the top of the first gave the Pilots a lead that would never be challenged as the Foresters scattered only three hits and never found home plate. The shutout marked the third time this season the Foresters have been held scoreless, two of those losses coming with Giana Zimmerman on the mound. Aubrey Garner picked up a pair of hits to pace the Foresters at the plate. Molly Long took the loss surrendering eight hits, five runs and a walk while striking out five in three innings of work.
With this loss, the Foresters dropped into the loser’s bracket where they faced Marian University for the second time in as many days. This time it was the Knights who came away with the hotly contested 4-3 win.
The Foresters started off strong as Katie Knous got things rolling with a double to left and then Brita Kuiper doubled her in to give HU a 1-0 lead after an inning of play but the Knights evened the score in the second at 1-1. The final five innings turned into a slug fest with all of the scoring coming by way of the long ball. Katie Bowers started the festivities in the top of the third when she blasted one out of the park, her third of the tourney, to push HU back on top by one. Not to be outdone, Knight catcher Helen Rogers matched that with her own two-run dinger in their half of the frame to seesaw the lead back to Marian. Kuiper took her turn with a solo shot in the fourth but once again Marian answered in the bottom of the inning, this time at the bat of first baseman Mallory Ortwein to give the Knights a 4-3 advantage.
The next two innings came and went without much action but things looks promising for the Foresters in the seventh. Melissa Werling drew a walk and Allison Greene singled to left to put the go-ahead run on first with one out but a double play brought an abrupt ending to the game and forced the Foresters to an early exit from the tourney.
Molly Long started for the Foresters and scattered four hits, three runs and one walk over three innings with two strikeouts. Sophomore Abby Dilling, who worked three innings of relief, took the loss giving up one run on two hits. Kuiper finished with two hits, one run scored and two RBI to lead the Foresters offensively.
The Foresters wrap up their season with the best record in school history at 27-7.