The University of Findlay softball team traveled to Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday, February 12 for a pair of games. The Oilers dropped the first game 11-2 to Kentucky Wesleyan College. In the second game, Bellarmine University handed Findlay a 3-2 loss in walk-off fashion. The losses drop the Oilers to 2-2 on the young season.
The Oilers were in a battle against themselves in the first game of the day. They committed six errors and registered six hits, while the Panthers cranked out 15 hits with only one error.
Kentucky Wesleyan scored three runs in the first inning and tacked on another run in the second for an early 4-0 lead. Findlay finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Sophomore Salwa Al-Hajabed connected on a single through the left side and junior Kelley Cejer brought her around the bases with an RBI double to cut the deficit to 4-1.
The Panthers recorded three more runs on four hits in the fifth inning. Kentucky Wesleyan added four more runs in the sixth inning to take an 11-1 lead. Findlay tallied another run in the bottom of the inning off a RBI single by freshman Ashton Kester, following a lead-off double by junior Destinie Keeton for an 11-2 final.
Sophomore Hailey Bryan (1-1) took the loss on the hill for Findlay. She pitched 4.2 innings giving up seven runs (six earned), on ten hits with three strikeouts. Junior Maria Pappano closed out the game and gave up four runs (three earned), on five hits with one strikeout.
At the plate Al-Hajabed finished the game 2-for-3 and Kester went 1-for-1 with an RBI.
Both teams failed to get anything going early in the game, as the first run wasn't scored until junior Hayley Apple delivered a solo shot (her first of the season and second of her career) to left field in the fifth inning to give Findlay a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers added another run in the top of the seventh inning. Al-Hajabed reached base on a single and junior Madison Arnold knocked a single to left field to score Al-Hajabed and stretch the lead to 2-0.
Bellarmine quickly erased the lead in the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off double and two consecutive RBI singles. After a pitching change for the Oilers, Findlay recorded two straight outs. With two on and two outs, the Knights connected on a walk-off RBI single to win 3-2.
In the batter's box, Findlay recorded only four hits, compared to ten for Bellarmine. Keeton, senior Lauren Trumpler, Arnold and Apple each had one hit for the Oilers.
After a couple weeks off, the Oilers return to the playing field on Friday, February 24 when they will travel to Rosemont, Illinois for a 9:00 a.m. matchup with Lindenwood University. The Oilers will also play University of Wisconsin-Parkside at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 24.