HU forces deciding game, but falls in CL championship

The Huntington University softball team forced Taylor to a showdown game but came up empty in the championship game of the Crossroads League Tournament on Friday, May 2.

Having already locked up a berth to the upcoming NAIA Softball Championships, the Foresters beat Taylor, 8-7, in the morning game to force a deciding game in the double-elimination tourney, but Taylor, 41-15, was up to the challenge and came up a 7-1 winner.

HU, 31-21, rallied for six runs in the fifth inning to turn a 2-0 disadvantage into a 6-2 lead in the opener. Taylor then put up three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning, but HU answered with two more in the top of the sixth for what proved to be the winning runs. Taylor got two runs in the bottom of the seventh before HU hurler Lea Buckenmyer slammed the door.

Lindsay Shellabarger smacked a home run and had four runs batted in and Annie Weaver had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and three runs batted in to lead the Forester offense in the first game. Emily O'Leary added two hits.

Buckenmyer got the win despite yielding 13 hits and five earned runs in seven innings, with four strikeouts and one walk.

Hannah Robbins had three hits and two runs batted in for Taylor.

It was all Taylor in the championship game, however, as Trojan pitcher Hannah Klebesadel limited HU to just five hits, while her teammates were collecting 14 off of HU starter Ariel Sheets and reliever Kaylin Yon.

The tourney hosts broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning with a single tally, then scored four more runs in the fifth inning and a solo tally in the sixth.

Shellabarger homered in the fourth for the lone HU run, and she and Weaver both finished with two hits in the contest.