TIFFIN, Ohio - The Wilmington College softball team battled Heidelberg University to a doubleheader split in a high-scoring Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opener for both teams on Saturday. The Fightin' Quakers won game one 8-7 in nine innings while the Student Princes took game two 9-6.
In game one, Wilmington got on the board first with a two-RBI single from Lizz Hadley scoring both Arianna Layne and Megan Crager. After a scoreless bottom of the first, it was Crager's turn get an RBI-hit as the senior tripled to right center scoring Sarah Monnier and McKenna Archey.
Trailing 5-0, Heidelberg battled back to tie the game 5-5 using one Quaker error and three hits to tie the game. Wilmington didn't waste time regaining the lead, however, as Sarah Monnier doubled to begin the fourth, and after a Crager single advanced the junior one base, Hayley Suchland singled home the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the fourth, Hillary Huffer, who came in to pitch for Suchland, held the Student Princes scoreless. The pitcher helped her own cause in the fifth, singling home Hadley to double the Quakers' lead to 6-4.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the hosts, similar to the third inning, tied the game with a multi-run frame. Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh innings, though Heidelberg did get a runner to third base in both innings. After a 1-2-3 inning for both sides in the eighth, Wilmington broke the deadlock in the ninth as Archey doubles down the left field line to score Hadley. Heidelberg got the lead-off runner on in the bottom of the inning, but Lindsay Carter, pitching in relief of Huffer, induced a 4-3 double play. The flyout that followed gave Wilmington the win.
Carter earned the win, scattering four hits over the final four innings without surrendering a run. Riley Cruse pitched the final 7.2 innings for Heidelberg and took the loss, despite six strikeouts. Offensively, the Quakers had 15 hits as a team and were led by 3-for-5 performances from both Crager and Hadley. Brooke Lewis, the DP, went 4-for-5 for the Student Princes in defeat.
In game two, the Quakers once against scored first, this time in courtesy of a Layne sacrifice fly and a Hadley groundout, but the Student Princes wouldn't be kept off the scoreboard for the first three innings as the hosts put one in the first, two in the second and three in the third to build a 6-2 lead.
Wilmington answered in the fourth by batting around and utilizing RBI-hits from Monnier and Suchland as well as a wild pitch to tie the game 6-6. Heidelberg delivered what proved to be the game's final runs in the bottom of the inning, however, plating three total.
Rylee Tomsic took the win despite allowing six earned runs in 4.2 innings for Heidelberg while Hoffman got the save. Carter and Huffer split the pitching duties going three innings each. Carter took the loss, but Huffer allowed just three hits and one unearned run over the final three innings.
The Student Princes powered 14 hits including three from the bats of both Shelby Miller and Emma Dean. Carter and Alecia Kemp had multi-hit games for the Quakers.
The two teams will play again tomorrow (Sunday) at the WC Softball Complex for a twinbill beginning at 1 p.m.