Clermont, Fla. -- Two seventh inning rallies led to two different outcomes for the Heidelberg University softball team. The Berg came up just short in game one after scoring six in the top of the seventh, falling to Saint Benedict 10-9. Senior Erin Chapman salvaged a split for HU with a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh in the nightcap to defeat Pitt-Greensburg, 5-4.
Despite it being just her fourth win with the Tricolor, head coach Kelli Williams reached 100 career wins with the walkoff thriller. Williams picked up 96 wins during her tenure as head coach at Wheeling Jesuit.
Erin Chapman: 4 for 5, 2 RBI, 7 IP, 9 strikeouts
Casey Moore: 3 for 6, HR, 4 RBI
Renee Lovett: 3 for 7, 2 RBI
GAME ONE: Saint Benedict 10 Heidelberg 9
After Saint Benedict scored one in the first inning, freshman Casey Moore's bat stayed hot with a three-run blast to centerfield. The shot gave the Student Princes a 3-1 lead in the top of the third.
The lead was short-lived, as CSB put a six spot up in the bottom of the frame. After a leadoff single, starter Kaitlyn Moore retired the next two hitters. A CSB single followed by a double to right centerfield tied the game at three. A walk and an error came back to hurt the Student Princes when Olivia Olson handed HU the big blow of the inning -- a grand slam over the right field wall.
CSB scored three times, threatening to run-rule the Student Princes. The Blazers could not push across the decisive eighth run in the sixth inning.
HU strung together a rally in the seventh, leaving the tying run stranded at third base. Chapman's pinch hit single, a fielder's choice, and a Bailey Smith single loaded the bases for Taylor Hicks. Hicks singled to left to drive in a run.
Junior Renee Lovett brought in a pair with a line drive to right field. With two outs and the bases loaded, Joanna Catalano drove a double to deep right center to score Hicks and Lovett. The CSB first baseman attempted to make a throw to the plate, but the throw went wild, allowing for Kaitlyn Moore to score. Catalano advanced to third on the throw, but could not move the final 60 feet as CSB escaped by inducing a groundout.
GAME TWO: Heidelberg 5 Pitt-Greensburg 4
Chapman capped off a seventh inning rally with a walkoff single up the middle. Hicks led off the inning when she reached on an error by the third baseman. Lovett attempted to sacrifice Hicks over to second base, but the ball could not be fielded cleanly, allowing for two runners on and no outs for the senior.
On a 3-2 pitch, Chapman bounced a single through the infield, sending Hicks across the plate for the win.
HU capitalized on the Bobcat errors, putting up three runs over the first two innings. Pitt-Greensburg took advantage of a Heidelberg error to tie the score in the top of the fifth inning. A home run by Jen Miller erased the HU lead and knotted the game at three.
Chapman and the Student Princes responded in the bottom of the inning. Hicks led off the inning reaching on a throwing error and advancing to second. A Lovett groundout allowed Hicks to scamper to third. Chapman hit an infield single to score Hicks and regain the HU lead.
A two-out single by the Bobcats in the sixth tied the score, setting up the dramatic finish.
NOTES & QUOTES
With her nine strikeouts, Chapman is nine strikeouts away from setting the HU record set by Lexie Pinkleman in 2013 with 202 in her career. The senior earned the victory in game two, scattering five hits in seven innings of work.
"The girls played as a team in the second game," said head coach Kelli Williams. "We had some great hits and it was great to see the girls play as one."
HU will resume play on Florida on Wednesday. The Student Princes will play Sage and Elizabethtown. Game times are scheduled for 8 and 11:30.