Clermont, FL – The University of Findlay softball team split in double header play on Sunday, March 11 to wrap up their Spring trip. In the first game, the Oilers defeated the Kutztown University Bears in an 8-7 final. The second game versus the University of Illinois-Springfield Prairie Stars in extra innings, dropping the game by a score of 8-6.
Game 1 | 8-7 (Box Score)
The Oilers jumped out to an early lead in game one, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning.
Meredith Shepherd led off with a double to right field, and later advanced to third on an error by the second baseman. That ball was put in play by Amanda Delmonte, who reached second after the error.
With two outs, Kelley Cejer smashed a double to right center field that scored Shepherd and advanced Delmonte to third.
In the next at-bat, Salwa Al-Hajabed delivered a single that scored Delmonte and Cejer and gave the Oilers a 3-0 lead.
After walking in an RBI in the top of the second, the Oilers gave up a two-run double, allowed a walk with bases loaded, and allowed a runner to score on a sacrifice fly to even the contest.
Scoring picked back up in the fourth inning, thanks to a solo-homerun from Shepherd over the center field wall.
Al-Hajabed had a solo-homerun of her own in the top of the fifth, this time sending one over the left field fence.
The Oiler hitters loaded the bases in the sixth inning, but were only able to manufacturing one run on a walk from Al-Hajabed.
That left the door open for the Bears, and they responded by tying the game yet again thanks to a fielder's choice RBI and a huge two-run homerun.
Findlay grabbed the lead yet again by scoring a crucial run in the top of the last inning to bring the score to the eventual 8-7 final.
With two outs, Brunner ripped a double to center field that scored Harvey and gave the Oilers the go-ahead run.
Megan Fisher produced a fly out, strikeout, and pop up to the infield to secure the victory for Findlay in the bottom half of the final inning.
Starting on the mound for the Oilers was Devyn Zuro, whose outing consisted of 1.1 innings pitched and four runs allowed (all earned).
Caragyn Yanek entered the game in the second inning and remained for 3.2 innings, allowing two runs (both earned) and recording two strikeouts.
Finishing the game and receiving the win on the bump was Fisher, who in her 2.0 innings pitched allowed zero walks, one run (earned), and struck out one batter.
Game 2 | L 8-6 (Box Score)
The second game of the double header would take a hard-fought 12 innings to decide.
The Prairie Stars began the scoring, crossing a run in the top of the second inning on a fielder's choice to take the early 1-0 lead.
Findlay responded in the bottom of the third, beginning with a single by Destinee Keeton through the right side of the infield. She advanced to second base on the next at-bat from a sacrifice bunt by Meredith Shepherd.
Allison Brunner stepped to the plate next and launched a double down the right field line that scored Keeton and left Brunner in scoring position.
After a flyout, Rebecca Harvey picked up the RBI with a single that scored Brunner from second and gave Findlay the 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Illinois-Springfield tied the game on a huge one-out triple. They went on to take the lead in the top of the eighth.
Illinois-Springfield scored two more runs in the top of the 10th inning, again putting the pressure on the Findlay offense to score in the bottom half.
The Oilers responded in a big way, with Brooke Otto and her clutch two-RBI homerun that again evened the score and continued play.
The Prairie Stars scored again the top of the 11th, recording a run on a fielder's choice.
A single from the bat of a Prairie Star produced the deciding runs in the top of the 12th inning. The Oilers were unable to produce runs after two pop outs and a strikeout.
Hailey Bryan went all 12 innings for the Oilers on the mound, giving up eight runs (four earned) while recording six strikeouts and one walk.
The Oilers will be back on the field this Friday, March 16th when they host a double header against Davenport University.