LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Defiance College softball team used a one-run walk-off double from Mariah Huff in the bottom of the seventh to take game one over Manchester University in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament this afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Purple and Gold started the game plating a pair of runs to take the early 2-0 lead. Mariah Huff would go 2-for-3 in her at-bats, recording an RBI single in the first inning to score Kaity Kuhn who reached on a walk. Michaela Bauer added to the DC advantage, lofting a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing home Emma Perry.
A quiet second inning would give way to a third Defiance run in the third inning as Brooke Gostomsky delivered a double to left field to knock in Kuhn for the second time.
The Spartans were able to cut the Defiance lead to two before eventually leveling the score at three apiece in the top of the seventh off a two-RBI double to right center. DC's defense dug deep to stop the bleeding, executing a clutch double play to end the inning and give the Yellow Jackets another chance at the plate.
With one out and runners Gostomsky and Perry on first and second, Huff squared up in the batter's box. She would come up big for the Yellow Jackets, crushing a double to deep right field, scoring Perry and closing the door on the contest 4-3.
With Defiance's win over the Spartans, they would take on top-seeded Transylvania University in game two.
The Yellow Jackets held Transylvania hitless and scoreless through the first two innings with Sydney Zuech in the circle before giving up a threesome of runs in the bottom of the third. The Pioneers extended their edge over DC with a pair of runs in the fifth, putting them up 5-0.
The Purple and Gold would not go down without a fight, however, as they entered the top of the seventh. Huff jump-started the inning with a first-pitch single to center field. Her pinch runner Ely King would be moved to second base as Bauer walked on four pitches to bring up Jackie Hartman. Hartman's double to right center would ensure that the Yellow Jackets would not be blanked but it was not enough to overcome the deficit as DC fell 5-2 in the night cap.
Defiance returns to the field tomorrow, Saturday, May 5, to take on the winner of the Franklin/Manchester contest. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM.