Foresters rally back for sweep of Manchester

Host Manchester University jumped out to 3-0 leads in both games of its doubleheader against the Huntington University softball team on Friday, April 26, but the Foresters made up the deficit both times, winning 9-6 and 8-4 to record the sweep.

The Foresters, 18-14, climbed out of the three-run hole immediately in the first game, responding to the Spartans' trio of first inning scores with two runs in the second and five more in the third while holding the hosts scoreless to lead 7-3.

Emily O'Leary got the scoring started for Huntington in the third inning with a three-run home run that plated Lindsay Shellabarger and Katie Bowers. Bailey McIntire singled to score Katie Knous and then a single by Katie DePew brought home McIntire to cap off the Foresters' five-run outburst.

Manchester outscored Huntington the rest of the way, but the 3-2 edge wasn't enough to spoil things for the Foresters.

O'Leary paced Huntington offensively on the strength of her fifth inning performance. The freshman's two runs scored tied Bowers and Knous for the game-high. Other contributions came from Bowers and Shellabarger with two hits apiece and McIntire with a pair of runs batted in.

Kalie Niezgodski led the Spartans' offensive attack with two hits, an RBI and a run. Kayla Yates chipped in a solo home run.

Forester hurler Emily Puterbaugh got the win, dispersing seven hits and three earned runs across six innings. Ariel Sheets gave up a hit and zero earned runs in an inning of relief.

Former Huntington North High School star Maureen Lund was the loser for Manchester, surrendering six hits, five earned runs and as many walks in four innings of work. Reliever Brittney Wetzel gave up three hits and an earned run in three innings.

It took a little while longer for Huntington to climb out of the three-run hole in the second game, but once it did it never looked back.

The Spartans got their three scores in the bottom of the second and Huntington finally responded in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded, Pazia Speed reach first on a fielder's choice, which brought home O'Leary from third. Greene then reached on a throwing error by MacKenzie Williams, which plated Shellabarger and sent Speed to third, who scored on a wild pitch the very next play. A single by Annie Weaver brought home Greene and gave the Foresters a 4-3 lead.

Huntington put another run on the board in the sixth and got three insurance tallies in the seventh to get the 8-4 win.

O'Leary, Shellabarger and Weaver each had two hits for the Foresters. O'Leary and Shellabarger tied for the game-high in runs with two and the latter was one of four Huntington batters with an RBI.

Shannon Stephan's two hits and three RBI led Manchester.

Sheets got the win on the mound for the Foresters, yielding seven hits and two earned runs in five innings. Kaylin Yon gave up two hits in as many innings of relief and no earned runs.

Ashlea Nash took the loss for the Spartans, giving up eight hits, four earned runs and five walks in seven innings.