KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Defiance College softball team opened up the 2018 season in Kissimmee, Florida this afternoon in a memorable way, recording 27 total runs and a clean sweep of the competition. In game one, DC took on Illinois College, securing a 19-16 victory before cruising past Bridgewater College 8-3 in the nightcap.
Defiance's offense took no time to get hot, taking the 2-0 lead against the Lady Blues in the first inning. Brooke Gostomsky crushed a homerun ball over the centerfield fence, bringing Kaity Kuhn home with her. One inning later, the Yellow Jackets continued to explode, tallying four more runs to take a 6-0 advantage. Jackie Hartman and Arianna Richards reached on walks, setting up Haley Patty to drill a single that forced an infield error allowing both Hartman and Richards to score. With two outs, Emma Perry slapped a single to right field, grossing two RBI's as Kuhn and Patty added a pair of runs.
The Purple and Gold extended their lead to 7-0 before Illinois College was able to put themselves on the board in the bottom of the third. IC continued to gain traction in the fourth, putting up a second run, making the score 7-2.
In the fifth inning, DC and the Lady Blues combined for 14 total runs. Defiance found their momentum with one out in the inning and the bases loaded. Jen Nashalsky claimed the first run while Patty earned a second run – both on walks. Perry's at-bat would result in a crushing double, scoring Gostomsky and Kuhn before Michaela Bauer sacrifice flied to bring around Huff. Perry capped the inning capitalizing on an IC fielding error to grab a sixth run. Refusing to go down without a fight, the Lady Blues dug deep and rallied with eight runs.
In the sixth inning, DC tallied a pair runs, going on to hold Illinois College scoreless. It wouldn't be until the seventh inning that things really started to heat up in Florida as IC would come back from a 16-10 deficit to equalize at 16-16, sending the contest into extra innings. The Yellow Jackets would come out on top, recording three runs before forcing the Lady Blues three-up, three-down on the defensive side.
The Purple and Gold barreled out of the gate in game two against Bridgewater College, producing two of their eight runs in the first inning, started by a second Gostomsky homer that drove in Osborne who reached on a walk. The Eagles added some leverage in the second inning as they added their first run but DC was quick to retaliate with a third run of their own on a Hannah Huff homerun.
Defiance made it a six-run game in the bottom of the fourth as Kuhn batted in Patty followed by an RBI from Huff to score Osborne and finally a Perry single that sent Kuhn rounding the bases towards home. Gostomsky went on to hammer a single to center field before Huff notched another RBI, making the score 7-2. Pinch runner Jessica Mello wrapped up the DC scoring as Perry sacrifice flied. Behind Sydney Zeuch in the circle, the Yellow Jackets would stifle Bridgewater's ability to score, holding them to just three runs on the day.
The Yellow Jackets continue their Sunkissed Games schedule with DeSales and Westminster (Pa.) on Monday, March 5 at 11:15 AM and 1:30 PM.