After celebrating two victories over Taylor University and extending their winning streak to 12 straight games, the Huntington University softball team lost three of its next six contests. They currently hold a 19-13 record, with a Mid-Central Conference (MCC) record of 7-5.
Cedarville University (Ohio) proved to be tough playing ground for the Foresters, as they were handed their first pair of losses March 31. They were scoreless the first game, losing 0-8, and then dropped the second game with a 1-5 finish.
Cecelia DaBartolo, Cedarville’s pitcher, was valuable for the Yellow Jackets and she shut down the Foresters offensively, giving Forester freshman Peyton Klinkhamer and junior Allison Greene the only recorded hits for the first game.
The second game started off with a bang for HU. Junior Katie Bowers hit a home run in the first inning, but Cedarville answered by scoring five runs to take the second game.
Senior Molly Long explained that besides losing, there are also other obstacles the team has to deal with.
“We have had our fair share of challenges,” she said. “Competing against ourselves has been pretty difficult, but I think it’s those struggles that make us a stronger team and drive us to succeed. Our momentum is working toward unity. Right now we are hitting but not connecting those hits.”
Trying to bounce back from the tough play earlier in the week, the team took on MCC rival the Wildcats of Indiana Wesleyan University April 3.
The first game was a pitcher’s duel: Long was on the mound and came up short, giving HU its first MCC loss, as the Wildcats won the game 2-3.
But the resilient Forester squad was determined to deliver the Wildcats their first MCC loss of the season, and they fought hard for a win in the second game. Through a combination of key at-bats from freshmen Kaitlyn Troyer, Klinkhamer and Bowers, the Foresters came within one after six innings of play. The team pulled together in the end to swing the 5-4 victory.
There are many Foresters who have contributed to the successful season so far. Freshman Amy Snider said she thinks sophomore Katie Knous is one of them.
“Katie Knous is a solid and reliable player,” she said. “Whether on third or first, she plays tremendous defense with a great arm and glove. She’s also our fourth batter and hits the ball with power.”
Despite the losses, the Foresters are optimistic for what the rest of the season will bring.
“I really want us to win the conference title,” Long said. “We have a very talented squad this year, and I would love for us to win. We’ve been a fierce competitor in the past and put in the hard work.”
The Foresters traveled to Madonna University (Mich.) April 7, where they came up scoreless in both games, losing the first 0-9 and the second 0-3.
Recovering from the tough lossses of the weekend, the Foresters took on Marian University April 10, where they rallied to win both games, the first 2-1 and the second 5-2.