Sheets helps HU softball squad earn split with SAU

Ariel Sheets pitched the Huntington University softball team to a 7-1 victory over host Spring Arbor on Saturday, April 28, to help the Foresters split with the Cougars following a 2-1 loss in extra innings.

The sophomore hurler went the distance for Huntington in its regular season finale, limiting the hosts to five hits and a run to earn the win, her sixth of the season against four losses.

The Forester offense provided her with ample run support, driving home four runners in the first frame to build a 4-0 lead. The visitors expanded their advantage to 6-0 with solo tallies in the second and third innings before Spring Arbor plated a runner in the fourth to break the shutout. Huntington responded with another score in the fifth to round out the game's offense.

Senior Katie Knous banged out two of the Foresters' eight hits and supplied two runs batted in. Junior Cristin Carter matched Knous' RBI total and junior Kaitlyn Troyer smacked a home run, her first of the season, helping Coach Doug Gower's squad improve to 26-19 overall, 18-12 in the Crossroads League.

Erika Lehr got the loss for Spring Arbor, 26-20, 17-15 in conference, allowing six hits and as many runs in 2.1 innings.

The first game was a pitchers' duel between the Foresters' Emily Puterbaugh and the Cougars' April Patnaude. The two hurlers matched blanks through the first four frames before Spring Arbor plated a run in the fifth and Huntington returned the favor in the sixth to craft a 1-1 tie. The deadlocked persisted into extra innings, where Puterbaugh blinked before Patnaude and the Cougars pushed the game-winning run across in the ninth.

Puterbaugh got hung with the tough luck loss. The sophomore, 7-7, tossed a complete game, striking out nine while giving up only six hits and the two runs.

Patnaude was masterful as well, scattering seven base pokes over nine innings with four strikeouts to get the win.

Sophomore Katie DePew paced the Foresters with two hits while senior Lindsay Shellabarger plated the team's lone run.