Softball ends season in heartbreaking contest against Heidelberg at OAC Tournament

Softball ends season in heartbreaking contest against Heidelberg at OAC Tournament

In the elimination game, the Muskingum softball team ended its season in a heartbreaker against second-seed Heidelberg at the Ohio Athletic Conference Softball Tournament on Saturday after falling 11-10 in eight innings.

The four-seed Muskies scored 10 runs on 15 hits, while the Student Princes plated 11 runs on 18 hits.

Freshman Riley Powers pounded her first career homer in the bottom of the first inning to give Muskingum an early 1-0 lead.

The next two innings were quiet until the top of the fourth when Heidelberg plated a two-run homer, a solo dinger, and an RBI to take a 4-1 advantage. The Muskies collected their second run in the bottom of the inning from freshman Karsyn Shaffer who hit an RBI single to left field allowing junior Kierstyn Czuchran to score from second base. Czuchran reached base after hitting a single up the middle.

The Student Princes erupted five runs in the top of the fifth to take a commanding 9-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Muskies answered back by scoring three runs. Powers scored the first run off a walk, senior pinch runner Nikki Mantle scored the second off a sacrifice fly by Czuchran, and the third came from an error by the shortstop which allowed junior Rachel Eberling to score. Powers opened the inning with a single, while Eberling was walked.

Both Heidelberg and Muskingum went scoreless in the sixth inning, with the Muskies trailing 9-5 heading into the top of the seventh.

An RBI single by Czuchran, an RBI sacrifice by Shaffer, and a two-run single by junior Krissy Hughes rallied the Muskies back in the bottom of the seventh as they tied the contest at 9-9 and sent play into extra innings. Eberling opened the inning with a single through the left side. Senior pinch hitter Abigail Orr then singled to right field, advancing Eberling to second. On the next play, Czuchran singled up the middle, which allowed Eberling to score the sixth run of the game. Freshman Shaena Mayer then singled to the shortstop, advancing Czuchran to second and Orr to third. A sacrifice ground out to first base by Shaffer gave Orr the opportunity to score the seventh run. The final runs in the inning came from Mayer and Czuchran as Hughes singled to right center.

In the top of the eighth with one out, Heidelberg's Casey Moore hit a two-run homer to put the Student Princes up 11-9. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Czuchran blasted her first career solo dinger to left center to get Muskingum within one. On the next play, Mayer grounded out to second base to end the contest.

Sophomore relief pitcher Sarah Turek took the loss after seeing 2.2 innings and allowing two runs on six hits. Eberling started the contest and tossed 3.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Senior Haylea Debolt then went to the circle and pitched the next 1.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits, while freshman Gabrielle McNeil pitched the final 0.2 innings and allowed no runs and no hits.

Heidelberg's Vanessa Macias earned the win after tossing the final 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.

Shelby Miller led the Student Princes going 5-for-5 with two runs scored, while Kaitlyn Moore went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Czuchran paced the Muskies as she went 4-for-4 at the dish, which included a dinger, with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Powers went 4-for-5 at the plate, which included a home run, two runs scored and an RBI. Hughes and Shaffer each produced two RBIs, while sophomore Jolyn Shunk added one.

Following the Ohio Northern at Otterbein championship game, Powers was named to the all-tournament team.

Today's contest concluded the 2018 season.