April 22, 2014

'Berg Bats Heat Up; Softball Sweeps Defiance

TIFFIN, Ohio - The Heidelberg University softball team improved to 21-11 overall as they took down the Yellow Jackets of Defiance College in two blow out victories.

The Student Princes dealt the Yellow Jackets a 7-0 loss as sophomore Paige Atterholt collected her second complete game shutout of the year. In the second contest, the Student Princes made quick work of Defiance as The Berg cruised to a 12-4 win in five innings to earn their fifth run-rule victory of the season.

Atterholt, with the help of a stellar defensive performance, earned the 11th win of her sophomore campaign. Atterholt only surrendered three hits while striking out four.

The Berg bats remained relatively quite until the bottom of the third when head coach Betsy Hada's crew exploded with six runs.

Freshman Rachel Garris led off the inning with a single to right field. Fellow freshman Taylor Hicks reached first on a fielder's choice before senior Jami Wagner laid down a bunt for a single.

Wagner's bunt led to Garris scoring on a throw to account for the first run of the inning. Lisa Simmons tapped an RBI single to right field that plated Hicks before sophomore Marissa Smego ripped a long double to the wall in left center scoring both Simmons and Wagner.

With the 'Berg ladies on top, 4-0, sophomore Mikaela Mitsch blasted a two-run home run to left extending the 'Berg lead.

Atterholt and The Berg defense retired the Yellow Jackets in order in the fourth and fifth inning while only allowing a walk in the sixth.

Needing two runs to bring game one to an early close, the Student Princes managed to tack on just one more in the sixth. With runners on second and third, Wagner reached on a fielding error by the Defiance shortstop, which allowed pinch hitter, Kendra Pratt to score.

Hada's crew, behind the arm of Atterholt closed the Yellow Jackets out in the seventh to take game one of their non-conference doubleheader.

Game two looked to be heading towards a brief conclusion when the 'Berg ladies came out firing in the first. Wagner knocked a lead off triple but took home when the Defiance right fielder made an errand throw to the infield. Already on top, 1-0, Mitsch knocked an RBI double to the left field wall that plated Hicks from second.

The Yellow Jackets tied the game with two runs in the top of the third before the Berg bats heated up once more in the bottom of the third.

After Mitsch reached on another error by the Yellow Jackets shortstop, Zachrich rapped a first pitch triple to left center that scored Pratt who came on to pinch run. Freshman third baseman Kyleah Brey belted a two-run home run to center field to extend the Heidelberg lead to 7-2.

Hicks tacked on the Berg's eighth run of the game with a single to center field before Smego tapped another single off of the Defiance starter, Lauren Dicke. Following the Smego single, Defiance was forced to make a pitching change, bringing on game one's starter, Kailea Holbrook. Holbrook escaped the inning without surrendering another Heidelberg run.

Defiance tried diligently to chip away at the Student Princes lead but could only muster one run in the fourth and another in the fifth.

The Berg put the game out of reach with a four run fourth inning, making an eight-run run rule possible.

Following a walk from Brey and a fielding error by the right fielder from a hit by freshman Caiti Overholt, freshman Randi Kelsey knocked a deep fly ball down the left field line that scored Brey from third.

On the ensuing at bat, Garris hammered a double to the wall in left field that scored Overholt and brought the Berg advantage to 10-3. Freshman Jordan Hux came on in place of Hicks and slapped a triple to the wall in right center scoring Garris.

The Student Princes took a nine-run lead with a first pitch single up the middle from freshman Kaela Bryant, who came on to pinch hit for Smego.

With one home run already on the day, and Bryant on first, Mitsch stepped into the chalk but only knocked an infield fly to end the inning.

Chapman, who earned the start in game two, earned her 15th complete game of the season by throwing five innings, surrendering seven hits and striking out three.

The Student Princes will return to the diamond on Thursday, April 24 as they battle another in-state, non-OAC foe. The Student Princes will travel to Wooster, Ohio to take on the Fighting Scots from the College of Wooster.

First pitch of game one of the non-conference doubleheader is slated for 3:30 p.m.