Despite injury-recovered senior pitcher Haly Williamson back in the circle, the Goshen College softball team could not knock off a hot Marian College squad as they were swept 9-1, 3-2 on Saturday in Indianapolis.
“Usually it’s the opposite,” said Maple Leafs Coach Lee Mast. “Game one is normally closer, while game two the deficit has been wider.”
The Marian College Knights broke into game one with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. The Maple Leafs defense then held strong until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Marian increased its lead to 2-0 with another run.
The Maple Leafs attempted a comeback as Stormy Holder, a first-year knocked in Danae Nafziger, a first-year, from second base in the top of the sixth. However, the Knights rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning and put an early end to game one with a 9-1 mercy rule win.
“It was good to see [Williamson] back pitching again,” said Coach Mast, “[but] sometimes it takes awhile to come back from an injury.”
Mast let Williamson rest during game two, sending Jessica Reed, a first-year, to the pitcher’s circle. Throughout the battle with the Knights, Mast rotated Krystal Duensing, a senior, and Diana Stanley, junior, into the pitching mix.
“We used all three pitchers in game two,” said Coach Mast, “and I think that made us strong.”
The Maple Leafs jumped into game two with intent for revenge, but could not manage to break through the Knight’s defense.
In the second inning, Marian crushed the ball over the right-field fence for a home run to take a 1-0 lead. The Leafs stopped them there, but could not make it on base until the top of the fourth inning, when Amy Clem, a senior, ripped a two-run double to right center, notching a 2-1 lead.
The Knights answered right back, bringing in a fourth inning run to tie the game at 2-2.
Fighting back and forth, neither team could break the other’s defense until the seventh inning. In the final frame of the game, Marian broke the tie for a 3-2 sweep over the Leafs.
“We’re starting to play more routinely, and that will make a difference,” said Coach Mast. “We should pick up a lot of wins in the next few weeks.”
Originally scheduled against Huntington University on Tuesday, the Maple Leafs postponed their contests against the Foresters to Wednesday due to poor weather.