Huntington, Ind. - Fighting for the top spot in the MCC, the No. 25-ranked HU softball team split with Marian University on Tuesday afternoon. The Knights came away with a 3-2 win in game one while the Foresters came out on top in the nightcap 5-2.
Knights’ pitcher Emily Gwaltney kept Huntington guessing at the plate as she held the Foresters hitless in game one. Despite a lack of offensive firepower and costly errors, HU managed to stay within striking distance. MU got its only earned run of the game on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first. Their next two runs came off Forester errors to give the Knights a 3-0 lead after two frames. Both teams were held scoreless until the top of the sixth when HU took advantage of two Marian errors to plate two runs but it wouldn’t be enough as the Knights held on for the 3-2 victory.
Molly Long suffered her second loss of the season giving up three runs, one earned, on three hits in three innings of work. Abby Dilling tossed three scoreless innings of relief.
Long bounced back in the nightcap to earn the win on the mound for the Foresters. She scattered five hits, one walk and two runs over seven innings with nine strikeouts.
The Foresters stepped up to the plate with renewed energy to start game two as they hammered out three runs in the first inning behind RBI-singles by Lindsay Shellabarger and Megan Smith. They added two more in the sixth when Katie Bowers blasted one over the left-field fence to give HU the 5-0 lead. The Knights answered with a two-run homer in their half of the inning but it would be as close as they would get as the Foresters cruised to the win.
Offensively, the Foresters banged out nine hits with Aubrey Garner leading the way with three hits. Bowers and Shellabarger collected two hits apiece with Bowers driving in two of the team’s five runs.
With this win, HU moves to 20-2 and hangs on to the top spot in the MCC with a league record of 10-2. They take a break from conference play with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader against Purdue North Central on Saturday.