Last week, the softball team took on the visiting DePauw Tigers twice in a battle for first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). These games determined which team would head into the annual conference tournament with the number one seed. The narrowest of margins went the way of the DePauw Tigers, as they defeated Wittenberg in both games, 4-3.
The first game was looking to go to Wittenberg, as the Tigers gained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-run homer from sophomore Casey Hobbs. Wittenberg held this lead until the top of the seventh, where DePauw scored one to tie and force the match into extra innings. As the eighth inning went with no scoring, DePauw started the ninth with two runs off a double. Wittenberg was able to respond with one run from sophomore Abby Baker, who scored on a wild pitch.
As a team, Wittenberg accumulated four hits off 31 at-bats. Baker led Wittenberg’s offense with two hits and two runs. Freshman Chelsea Zang allowed only six hits and four runs from the mound in nine innings. Zang was also able to strikeout four of DePauw’s batters.
The second game match-up went the same way, as a home run from Hobbs took the lead from DePauw. Hobbs’ home run followed a two-run homer from Baker in the bottom of the third inning. Wittenberg held this lead again until the sixth and seventh innings, where DePauw scored one run to tie and another in the seventh that gave them the lead. This time, Wittenberg had six hits from the bats of six different Tigers off a total of 31 at-bats. Scoring for the Tigers came from both Hobbs and Baker, as well as junior Shannon Lance.
Zang faced another 18 batters this game, striking out four of them and allowing four hits. Freshman Abby Haab faced a total of 14 DePauw batters, and also allowed four hits.
The next day, the Tigers played a double-header against Otterbein. The Tigers split on the day against the Cardinals.
The first game went Otterbein’s way, as they defeated the Tigers 7-2. The Tigers had four hits from 25 at-bats. Baker led the team with two hits; Hobbs and Zang each had one as well. One of Baker’s two hits was a one-run home run. From the mound, Haab faced 27 batters and allowed 11 hits and five runs. Junior Lacey Eigel faced 11 batters, and also allowed five hits and two runs.
The Tigers rallied back late in the second game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the game. RBIs from freshman Charlee Clark and senior Shelby Knapp sent in Hobbs and freshman Lindsey Blair. The Tigers produced eight hits off of 28 at-bats, compared to the Cardinals four hits off 26 at-bats. Junior Kaela Hughes pitched the entire game for the Tigers. In 83 pitches, Hughes threw for 55 strikes and one strikeout. Hughes gave up just four hits and four runs in the game. The Tigers are now 17-15 overall and 9-5 in the NCAC.