TIFFIN, Ohio – The Heidelberg University softball team picked up their first Ohio Athletic Conference victory against the Yellow Jackets of Baldwin Wallace University in front of a home town crowd at Jocko Huffman Field. The Student Princes (11-17, 1-11 OAC) split their OAC doubleheader with the Yellow Jackets, dropping their first game, 5-0 but rallying in the second contest to a 4-3 victory.
The Berg bats remained silent in the first game as Baldwin Wallace ace, Tabitha Murray, pitched a three hit shutout against the young Berg squad. The Yellow Jackets dropped three runs on the Berg in the first inning.
The score remained 3-0 in BW’s favor until the top of the fifth when the Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 4-0. Heidelberg starter, senior, lefty Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview), gave up another unearned run in the BW half of the seventh inning to drop the first game, 5-0.
In game one, Sayre recorded her sixth complete game of the season. Sayre’s currently owns an overall record of 6-6 and an ERA of 3.28. She has collected 29 strikeouts through 79.0 innings of work and 20 mound appearances.
The Berg fell behind early in game two when the Yellow Jackets scored two in the top of the first inning. The Student Princes answered with one run in their half of the first when Jami Wagner (Alvada/New Riegel) singled to lead off the inning. Wagner advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third when Lisa Simmons (Westerville/Westerville North) grounded out to the pitcher on the ensuing at-bat.
With one out and Wagner on third, freshman first baseman Marissa Smego (Parma/Trinity) smacked a first pitch singled down the left field line scoring Wagner.
The Berg scored their second run in the second inning to bring the game to a tie. Freshman Jessica Lieberth (Aurora) led off the inning by reaching first base on an error by the Yellow Jackets shortstop. Lieberth advanced to second when junior transfer Lydia Stover (Morris City, IL./Olney Central College) dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
Following Stover's sacrifice bunt, Heidelberg's starting pitcher for game two, freshman Nicola Gabriele (Boardman) tattooed a double down the right field line to score Lieberth from second and bring the game to even at 2-2.
Baldwin Wallace made a pitching change following the Gabriele RBI double, bringing in Murray in relief of their starter, Nikki Peskura. Murray escaped the inning without giving up another hit.
The Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead in the top of the third inning with another run off of Gabriele. However, the Berg took their first lead of the afternoon with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the third.
Bri Sinden (New Philadelphia) slapped a one out single up the middle before Lieberth hammered a stand up single to right center to score Sinden. BW pulled Peskura from the game, replacing her with Murray following the Lieberth double. Murray struck out Stover but balked on the ensuing at-bat, allowing Lieberth to score from third.
With the score 4-3 in the Berg's favor, Gabriele kept the Yellow Jacket bats on ice for the remainder of the game propelling the Student Princes to their first AC victory.
The Berg will return to the diamond on Saturday, April 20, when they travel to Alliance, Ohio to continue OAC competition against the University of Mount Union. Game one between the Purple Raiders and the Berg is slated for 1:00 p.m.