The Heidelberg University softball team and fifth year head coach Betsy Hada were riding a high heading into today’s game against Ohio Athletic Conference foe Wilmington College, having swept Bluffton University less than 24-hours ago. Both schools were winless in OAC competition entering today’s matchup but a sweep by the Quakers would leave the Berg still searching for their first conference victory.
The Quakers stole the first game, 4-0. Wilmington starter, Danielle Monnier held the Berg to one hit in the shutout.
Wilmington batted around and scored four in the second inning to take the lead. Megan Rachford doubled to lead off and moved to third on a wild pitch by Heidelberg starter Nicola Gabriele (Boardman). After a popout, Rachford scored on a squeeze play by Megan Warren. Warren reached base when she dislodged the ball on a tag attempt by first baseman Marissa Smego (Parma/Trinity). After two singles scored Warren, Gabriele issued a walk to load the bases. Two runs scored on a mishandled groundball through the infield.
After the rocky second, Gabriele settled down nicely before running into trouble in the sixth. After issuing a single and a walk, she was relieved by senior Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview). Sayre got a groundball out to end the threat.
Gabriele threw 5.2 innings and struck out four while allowing eight hits. Only one of the four runs she allowed was earned.
Trailing 4-0, Heidelberg struggled to solve Wilmington starter Danielle Monnier. Through the first five innings, the Student Princes did not record a hit. Mikaela Mitsch (McHenry, IL) led off with a bloop single to right. After pinch runner Brittany Yost (Castalia/Margaretta) moved to second on a Bri Sinden (New Philadelphia) sacrifice, Monnier got the next two to retire the side.
The Wilmington ace kept the Berg bats on ice for the remainder of the game taking the first contest 4-0.
Freshman righty Carly Pickard (Johnstown/Johnstown-Monroe) made her fourth appearance of the season in the second game. Pickard only lasted two and two-thirds innings, facing 17 batters and surrendering four runs on six hits.
The Quakers struck first with a two run home run in the first inning. A Mikaela Mitsch double into left center put her in scoring position for Sinden. Sinden reached on an error by the second baseman and Mitsch scored from second cutting the Quaker lead in half.
Wilmington brought the game to 4-1 in the top of the second with two more runs off of Pickard. Freshman righty Paige Atterholt (DeGraff/Riverside) came on in relief in the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded in hopes of working the Berg out of the jam. Atterholt got Wilmington's Megan Warren to pop out to Lisa Simmons (Westerville/Westerville North) at second base escaping the Quaker threat.
Mitsch smacked a lead off in the sixth and was replaced by Yost at first. Yost advanced to second when Sinden laid down a sacrifice bunt. Freshman Jordan Crase (Bucyrus/Colonial-Crawford) came on to pinch hit for Jessica Lieberth (Aurora). Crase reached first on an error by the Quaker pitcher, Jess Cutter advancing Yost to third. Cutter downed Lydia Stover but surrendered a walk to Kayla Zachrich (Defiance/Ayersville) loading the bases for Simmons.
Simmons smashed a single scoring Yost and Crase before Wilmington brought in Monnier to close out the game. Monnier surrendered one hit for the remainder of the contest while the Quaker offense added two more runs in the top of the seventh.
With the losses against Wilmington, the Heidelberg women fall to 8-8 on the season and 0-4 in the OAC.
Hada and the Heidelberg softball team will travel to Delaware, Ohio and the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University for a non-conference matchup with the Battling Bishops. Game one of the doubleheader is slated for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3.