JOLIET, Ill. - It was a tough couple of days for the Forester softball team (7-11) as they dropped three of its four games at the University of Saint Francis (Ill.) tournament over the weekend.
Things started off well for Huntington in game one against Judson University. HU raced in front 4-0 before the Eagles came to life at the plate to score seven runs over the final four innings to escape with a 7-4 win.
Lindsay Shellabarger got HU on the board with an RBI-bunt in the first frame. Cristin Carter made it 2-0 in the second when, after singling earlier in the inning, scurried home on a well-executed double steal.
HU’s final two runs came in the third. Katie Bowers and Shellabarger teamed up for a pair of singles and eventually came around to score – Bowers on a passed ball and Shellabarger on an RBI-groundout by Katie Knous.
It was all Eagles after that as they scored seven runs, only three of which were earned, over a three-inning span to notch the win.
Kaylin Yon took the loss for HU. She surrendered seven runs, three earned, on nine hits while striking out nine in six innings on the mound. Emily Puterbaugh worked a scoreless final inning of relief.
Having suffered a frustrating loss earlier in the day, Huntington bounced back to mount their own come-from-behind 5-4 win against Ashford University in HU’s second game on Friday.
After spotting the Saints a four-run advantage through the first four innings, the Foresters got one back by way of an Amy Snider RBI-single in the top of the fifth before exploding for four runs in the sixth to seize the lead.
With bases loaded, Shellabarger came up with her second consecutive base poke to drive in a pair of runs. Two batters later, with the bases once again loaded, Katie DePew came up with a single to center to push two more runs across and give her team what proved to be a permanent lead.
The Saints would put its first two runners on in the bottom of the seventh but would get no closer as Marcie McDougle maneuvered her way out of the inning to log the win. She tossed the final three innings and gave up two hits and a walk, her first of the season, while striking out two.
Shellabarger and Carter each registered two hits in the game. Shellabarger finished with a pair of RBI and scored a run while Carter scored two runs and drove in another.
The Foresters struggled to find any sort of offensively rhythm on Saturday. HU's only run of the day came in its 4-1 loss to St. Ambrose University in the day's opener. After giving up a run in the second, HU tied things up when Allison Greene opened up the frame with a double to left center and then made her way around the bases on a pair of wild pitches.
The Flying Bees took over after that, manufacturing three runs in their final two at-bats to claim the victory.
In addition to Greene's double in the third, Pazia Speed, Shellabarger and DePew were the only other Foresters to collect a hit.
McDougle suffered the loss. She spent the entire game on the mound and gave up five hits, four runs, three earned, two walks while striking out one.
Huntington's match-up against host University of St. Francis (Ill.) was cut short as the Fighting Saints lit it up for 11 runs in the third to extend their lead to double digits on their way to a 13-3 five-inning decision over the Foresters.
Cora Frame, pinch running for Emily O'Leary who had doubled into right center, scored the game's first run after advancing to third on a Bowers' single and then making her way home by way of a USF error to give her team an early 1-0 lead.
It proved to be their only lead as their final two runs came after St. Francis' monster third inning. Huntington took advantage of two more USF errors in the fourth to push its second run across the plate and then Bowers blasted one over the center field fence in the fifth, her second homer of the season, to pull the Foresters within ten but that's all she wrote as the game was called because of the mercy rule.
Bowers finished with two hits, also collecting a run scored and RBI thanks to her four-bagger. Shellabarger was credited with an RBI while Annie Weaver, O'Leary and Carter each tallied a hit.
Puterbaugh started for the Foresters and was credited with the loss. In two innings on the mound, she scattered four hits, four runs and three walks while striking out three. Yon worked the third and bore the brunt of USF's hot bats, giving up eight hits, eight runs, only three of which were earned, and three walks. Bailey McIntire tossed the final inning allowing one run and one walk.
The Foresters take the field again tomorrow to host Grace College at 3:00 p.m.