HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Marian University softball team suffered its first Mid-Central College Conference doubleheader sweep since 2008 after 2-1 and 5-2 losses at Huntington University on Tuesday afternoon.
The Knights committed a combined seven errors in the two games and all seven HU runs were unearned as MU fell to 22-7 on the season and 5-3 in MCC play. The Foresters improved to 19-9 overall and 7-1 in the MCC with the sweep.
The opener was a battle between the 2011 MCC Player of the Year junior Emily Gwaltney
and the 2011 MCC Pitcher of the Year Molly Long inside the circle. Both pitchers threw complete games and dominated the matchup throughout.
Both teams were held to just one hit over the first three innings and the duo dueled for the upper hand. The Foresters struck first in the bottom of the fourth when an RBI-double brought home the game's first run after an error allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base. The second run for HU was brought to the plate on a passed ball and gave Long a 2-0 lead after four complete innings.
The Knights rallied in the top of the fifth when senior Lizzee Campbell
drove home sophomore Allie Folley, who had led off the inning with a single. The Knights' rally was quelled on a baserunning miscue, but MU had gotten to within one at 2-1 as Gwaltney allowed just two baserunners over the final two innings. However, MU could not get anything going on offense and the Foresters were able to hang on for the 2-1 win.
Foley, freshman Becca Twining
and Campbell each had a hit, while Campbell drove in the team's only run. Gwaltney fell to 10-3 on the year, but earned her ninth complete game in her 12th start of the year. She is now 43-10 in her career with 42 complete games.
The nightcap was another duel as junior Amy Tamer
and Long battled inside the circle. Once again, both pitchers threw complete games, but five unearned runs gave the Foresters the 5-2 win.
The two pitchers combined to allow just three hits over the first three innings before Huntington got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. A leadoff double was followed by a single to put a pair of runners on base. Back-to-back errors allowed three runs to score before two more scored on the third MU error of the inning to stake Long a 5-0 lead.
Both teams went down in order in the fifth before MU struck for two in the sixth. Campbell singled before Gwaltney put runners on second and third with two outs. Sophomore Michelle Marcum
hit a two-run single to cut the gap to 5-2, but MU stranded two runners in the inning.
The Knights tried to mount the necessary comeback in the top of the seventh. Twining and freshman Chelsey Hartman
led off with back-to-back singles before the inning ended and the Foresters were able to close out the sweep with the 5-2 win.
Tamer scattered six hits and struck out in to pick up her ninth complete game of the season. Long scattered eight hits and struck out four to pick up the victory.
Twining led the Knights' offense after she went 2-for-3, while Marcum finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Knights will skip out of conference for a road twinbill at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on Thursday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m. in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.