Softball splits a pair

(Kayela Tidrick / Heidelberg Athletics)
(Kayela Tidrick / Heidelberg Athletics)

Clermont, Fla. -- On the second day of their Florida trip, the Heidelberg University softball team split a pair of games. The Student Princes held on for a 9-8 win over PSU-Behrend before falling to Nebraska Wesleyan, 5-1.

Heidelberg moves to 3-1 this season.

KEY STATS

Kaitlyn Moore: 4 for 6, RBI 2B

Randi Kelsey: 3 for 6, RBI

Morgan Daniels: 1 for 1, RBI 2B, 3.0 IP, W

GAME ONE: Heidelberg 9 PSU-Behrend 8

The HU bats stayed hot as the Student Princes pushed six runs across the board in the top of the first. Three consecutive singles by Taylor Hicks, Renee Lovett, and Kaitlyn Moore loaded the bases. A throwing error allowed for two runs to score.

Haylee Patel sent a double to the right-centerfield fence to bring home two more. Kelsey followed with a single to score Patel. The inning was capped off with an RBI double to the left field fence by senior Christine Bowling.

PSU-Behrend scratched one run across in the bottom of the fame.

The Lions added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the Heidelberg lead in half.

An AJ Nichols double followed a leadoff single to give the Lions their fourth run in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Daniels came in to relieve starter Erin Chapman. A single and a wild pitch helped the Lions cut the HU lead to 6-5. Daniels retired the next two hitters, but a single by Lacey Hilderbrand knotted the game at six.

The Student Princes answered with three runs in the top of the sixth. Lovett attempted to sacrifice bunt Hicks over to second base. PSU-Behrend elected to get the force out at second, but the throw went to the centerfield wall. Hicks scored from first and Lovett raced to third.

Kaitlyn Moore's double off the base of the left field wall gave HU an 8-6 advantage. Daniels produced in her lone at bat of the day with a double to right center to plate Kaitlyn Moore and give HU a 9-6 lead.

The Lions battled in the bottom of the seventh inning. A leadoff walk and a double cut the HU lead to 9-7. With two outs, the Lions singled home another run. With the tying run on third, Daniels got Kelsey Heinrich to ground out to Joanna Catalano for the win.

"We did a good job jumping out in front the first inning," said head coach Kelli Williams. "We started to get complacent. We need to do a better job of winning every inning."

GAME TWO: Nebraska Wesleyan 5 Heidelberg 1

Errors proved costly for HU in the nightcap. For the first time this season, Heidelberg did not score first. NWU plated a run in the top of the first. Morgan Shipley walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a throwing error.

NWU added a big blow in the third inning. After an infield single, Shipley attempted to sacrifice bunt the runner over. An errant throw allowed Nicole Vana to move to third and Shipley to trot to second with no outs. Madi Francis sent a ball over the left field fence for a three-run blast and a 4-0 lead.

HU had runners on first and second with nobody out in the bottom of the frame, but NWU escaped without damage.

A fielder's choice in the sixth gave the Prairie Wolves their fifth run.

Kelsey and Bailey Smith singled in the bottom of the seventh. With runners at the corners, Hicks slapped a dribbler down the third base line, allowing Kelsey to slide home ahead of the tag for HU's lone run of the game.

Kaitlyn Moore suffered the loss. The freshman fanned seven over seven innings.

"We didn't make adjustments at the plate which hurt us overall," said Williams. "We can't wait until the last inning and hope we can string some things together."

UP NEXT

The Berg returns to action in Florida tomorrow. The Student Princes will play Saint Benedict in game one and Pitt-Greensburg in the nightcap. Game times are slated for 3:30 and 6 p.m.