Softball claims No. 2 seed in tournament

Softball claims No. 2 seed in tournament

TIFFIN -- The Heidelberg University softball team dropped both halves of the final conference doubleheader -- 7-0 and 11-3 (9 innings) -- to Otterbein University on Friday. The Student Princes finish the OAC slate with a 13-4-1 record and stakes claim to the No. 2 seed in next weekend's four-team tournament. Overall, Heidelberg's record dropped to 24-11-1.

Otterbein improved to 16-2 in the OAC and 31-6 overall.

GAME ONE: Otterbein 7 Heidelberg 0

One bad inning doomed the Student Princes. The Cardinals scored five times in the fourth off of Erin Chapman. Because of three errors in the frame, only one of the Otterbein runs was earned.

The lone hit off of Otterbein's Gabby Johnson for Heidelberg was a leadoff double by Abbey McKee in the second. Pinch-runner Abby Barno advanced to third, but was stranded as Johnson used two strikeouts and a pop out to escape. Johnson (14-0) struck out a total of 12.

Chapman allowed seven runs, three earned. She gave up nine hits.

With the victory, Otterbein sealed the OAC regular season title and the right to host next weekend's OAC Tournament.

GAME TWO: Otterbein 11 Heidelberg 3 (9 Innings)

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Student Princes struck for two. Pitcher Kaitlyn Moore helped her own cause by roping a two-run double to left center, scoring Casey Moore and Shelby Miller.

The Cardinals were able to tie the game in the fifth with a triple and a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the sixth, Renee Lovett led off with a seeing-eye single up the middle. She moved to second on a McKee sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Miller blooped a single into left center which allowed Lovett to race home.

Otterbein quickly tied the game in the seventh with a single and a double to start the frame. Kaitlyn Moore avoided further damage by getting a strikeout and two fly outs.

The Student Princes threatened in the seventh but stranded a pair.

After a scoreless eighth, Otterbein broke through in the top of the ninth. With no outs and the bases loaded, Bailey McElwain sent a line drive to the base of the wall in center to drive in two. In total, the Cardinals plated eight.

With twilight setting in and a steady rain falling, HU was unable to muster any runs.

Lovett and Miller each finished with two hits apiece.

BACK IN ACTION

Haylee Patel and Bailey Smith returned to the Heidelberg lineup after missing a significant portion of the season.

THE TOURNAMENT

Otterbein will host the tournament for the second year in a row. The Student Princes have won the past two tournaments.

UP NEXT

The Student Princes had to juggle their schedule this week. Their games at Wittenberg have been canceled because the Tigers have conference games to make up. Heidelberg has added a doubleheader on Sunday, at Case Western Reserve University.