DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College softball team wrapped up regular season play by sweeping a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader from Hanover (Ind.) College, 1-0 and 7-3, on senior day at Sal Hench Field.
The opener was a pitcher's duel between DC junior Sarah Kaya (Lorain/Clearview) and the Panthers, as neither team garnered a run through the first seven innings of action. Each pitcher worked around a hit in the eighth inning, but did not surrender a run. Kaya kept the Yellow Jackets alive by getting Hanover to pop out with two runners on in the ninth inning.
Jackie Hartman (Parma/Padua Franciscan) led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a sacrifice bunt attempted that ended in a defensive error at first base which allowed Brooke Gostomsky (Covington), who was placed on second base via international tiebreak rules, to score and gave Defiance the 1-0 opening game victory.
Kaya threw her third shutout of the season for DC, allowing six hits and striking out five Panthers while improving her mark to 12-9 on the season.
A second-inning Gostomsky double and an eighth inning Emily Denhard (Troy, Mich./Kolbe Academy) single were the lone two hits in game one for Defiance.
The Yellow Jacket bats came alive in the third frame of game two, as they kick-started the inning with a base hit from Libby Leach (Cheshire/River Valley). A one-out single by Denhard was followed by a bases-clearing double from Gostomsky to put DC in front, 2-0. Hartman followed that up with a single up the middle to get DC a 3-0 edge through three innings.
The offense continued to click into the fifth, as Jordan Osborne (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice. Megan Warren (Mason) knocked her in with a run-scoring single to make it a 4-0 game. Hartman added another run with a single to make it 5-0 before senior pinch-hitter Marisa Guyton (Powell/Worthington Kilbourne) drove in two more with a double to give DC a commanding 7-0 lead.
Hanover got on the board with a run in the sixth and added two more in the seventh, but Jamie Kimbler (Huber Heights/Wayne) forced a ground out to Hartman at second base to finish off the 7-3 game two victory.
Kimbler allowed three runs on 11 hits with a pair of strikeouts while improving to 6-2 on the season for Defiance.
The middle of the lineup delivered in the nightcap, as Warren, Gostomsky, and Hartman all finished the contest batting two-for-three. Gostomsky and Hartman added two RBI apiece while Warren added another. Guyton also finished the contest with two RBI for DC.
The Yellow Jackets now await their fate for next weekend's HCAC Tournament, which is scheduled for Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 at the site of the regular-season HCAC champion yet to be determined.