KISSIMMEE, FLA. -- The Defiance College softball team returned to form with a pair of victories in the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. The Yellow Jackets knocked off Bridgewater (Va.) College in the opener, 8-2, then defeated Muskingum University, 9-8, in a 10-inning thrilller in the nightcap.
Against Bridgewater, DC started the scoring early as a sac fly from sophomore Jackie Hartman (Parma/Padua Franciscan) scored fellow sophomore Jordan Osborne (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) to give DC an early 1-0 lead after the first inning of play. Defiance continued the scoring in the second, as junior Haley Patty (Bradford) led off with a triple which was followed by a Brooke Gostomsky (Dayton/Covington) walk. Sophomore Michaela Bauer (Hicksville) then cleared the bases with a base knock to extend Defiance's lead to 3-0 after two frames.
Bridgewater got on the board with a run in the third, but DC rallied for more in the fourth. Junior Keri Hupp (Lousville) led off the inning by reaching on an error. Pinch-runner Jessica Mello (Verrmilion) advanced to second on a ground out and later scored on an RBI-single by junior Libby Leach (Cheshire/River Valley). An Osborne base-hit moved her to third before a single from junior Kaity Kuhn (Celina) scored her to make it a 5-1 game. Osborne would also later score on a passed ball that extended the lead to 6-1 after four innings.
Defiance added their final runs in the sixth inning, as senior Megan Warren (Mason) hit a double to score freshman Arianna Richards (Covington) to make it an 8-1 contest. Bridewater added a run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 8-2, but it would not be enough as DC went on to the 8-2 final.
The Yellow Jackets got a stellar pitching performance from junior Sarah Kaya (Lorain) who threw a complete-game, allowing two runs overall, none earned, on six hits and struck out seven Bridgewater hitters.
Osborne led DC at the plate, batting three-for-three while scoring three runs. Kuhn finished the contest two-for-four with an RBI and Bauer was two-for-four with two RBI.
The second game saw the Muskies open to a 5-1 lead in the first three-and-a-half innings of play. Defiance mounted a rally from there, though, as Gostomsky led off the bottom of the fourth frame with a triple and Bauer scored her to cut the deficit to 5-2 after four innings of action.
Hartman and Warren kicked off the fifth inning in a similar fashion, garnering back-to-back hits to put DC in scoring position once again. Gostomsky smashed a double down the left field line to score a run and make it a 5-3 game through five frames.
Defiance continued their streak in the sixth, as Leach reached on an error and Osborne smacked a base-hit. An error by the second baseman scored both runs for DC and tied the contest at 5-5 through six innings.
Muskingum put Defiance in a do-or-die situation in the seventh by scoring a run on a single down the left field line. Defiance responded with a base-hit by Hupp. Pinch-runner Holly Heard (Akron/Springfield) stole second, allowing her to score on a Bauer single to right field to tie the game at 6-6 and advance the game to extra frames.
The Muskies added another run in the eighth, but Osborne scored on a sac fly from Hartman to tie the game at 7-7. Neither team scored in the ninth, but Muskingum scored one in the 10th to take an 8-7 advantage. In DC's half of the inning, the Yellow Jackets got a base hit from Osborne that scored Bauer who started the inning on second base to tie the contest back at 8-8. Kuhn then singled Osborne over to second base, but with two outs on the board. Warren then knocked in the game-winning run with a single up the middle for the walk-off hit to give DC the hard-fought, 9-8, victory.
Sophomore Jamie Kimbler (Huber Heights/Wayne) started the game on the mound for the Yellow Jackets and pitched four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. Junior Sydni Smith (Jackson, Mich./Lumen Christi) also pitched four innings and gave up just two runs (one earned) on seven hits. Kaya came in for the final two extra frames, allowing an unearned run, but bringing home her second victory of the day.
The bats were led by Warren, who finished the contest three-for-six with three singles, in addition to a run scored and RBI. Hartman, Gostomsky, and Bauer also finished the late game with two hits apiece. Hartman also knocked in a run, Gostomsky tallied a run scored and RBI and Bauer also had a run scored to go along with two RBI.
Defiance will wrap-up their time in Kissimmee, Fla. with two more games at the Rebel Spring Games on Friday, Mar. 10. The opener will be a 9 a.m. tilt against Cornell (Iowa) College wiith the late game being an 11:15 a.m. battle with St. Joseph's (N.Y.) College.