HANOVER, Ind. – With a tournament bid on the line, the Defiance College softball team came up big in HCAC action this afternoon, cleaning house with an 11-4 victory in game one followed by a 4-3 win in the nightcap
Hanover took the early lead in game one, gaining a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first. The Yellow Jackets were quick to equalize as Michaela Bauer singled up the middle in the top of the second, sending Brooke Gostomsky rounding the bases towards home.
The Panthers responded with a second run in the bottom of the second before Defiance recorded a huge third inning, notching seven runs to build an 8-2 lead. DC's scoring streak started with Emma Perry's single to right field, tallying the first of her four RBI's in game one, scoring Jordan Osborne. A Gostomsky single to left field brought in Kaity Kuhn before Mariah Huff zipped a single down the right field line, sending Perry home to put the Purple and Gold up 4-2. Jackie Hartman followed, reaching on a miscue by the shortstop that allowed Gostomsky to touch home plate. Huff would record a run off a sacrifice fly from Bauer before Haley Patty crushed a double to left field, scoring Hartman. Erin Breece capped the inning with a RBI double down the left line, scoring Patty.
Hanover gained some traction in the bottom of the fourth, adding a pair of runs, but the Yellow Jackets were quick to put out the fire. DC hammered home two runs in the fifth off a Perry single to deep center field then sealed the 11-4 victory with a final score off yet another Perry double to center scoring Osborne.
In game two, the Panthers again took an early lead, going up 2-0 after two frames. Perry continued to stay hot for the Purple and Gold at the plate, lifting a homerun to even the score at two apiece.
Hanover would go on to regain the lead in the fourth inning on a base hit to left field. With one out in the top of the fifth, Hartman stepped up to the plate, lofting an infield single to second base that advanced Gostomsky to tie the contest for the final time of the day.
Leading off in the sixth, Osborne singled to the shortstop, and was eventually moved to second on the sacrifice bunt from Kuhn. That brought up Perry, who ripped a clutch RBI single down the right field line to give DC the 4-3 lead.
HC could not overcome the deficit and DC would come home with the sweep in Panther territory.
With today's wins, the Yellow Jackets have now clinched a spot in the HCAC tournament. Game one will be held on Friday, May 4.