ALMA, Michigan—Wittenberg softball moved to 6-8 on the year with a split against Alma College on Saturday. The Tigers were set to face off against Alma for the home-opener in Springfield on Saturday, but winter-like weather graced the Springfield area, calling for the home-opener to be postponed, as the team traveled to Alma for their first games since a successful Arizona Spring Break trip. Alma and Wittenberg last met in the 2016 NCAA Regionals, as the Tigers won their first NCAC Tournament Crown and headed north for NCAA action. Wittenberg managed to gut out a 12-8 victory in game one, before falling in game two 9-8 after a nine-inning marathon. Wittenberg now shifts their focus to OAC for Otterbein, as the Tigers travel to Westerville to take on the Cardinals on Thursday, March 22 at 3:30 P.M.
GAME ONE NOTES: Wittenberg jumped out to a commanding 11-3 lead in the third innings before Alma tacked on three-runs in the form of a three-run homer in the top of the fifth innings to cut the lead to 11-6. The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single from Abby Curnutte, who homered to deep centerfield back in the second inning. Alma would tack on two more, one in the sixth and one in the seventh before Wittenberg hung on to their 12-8 lead in an offensive slugfest. Curnutte led the Tiger offense with three RBI's, while Chelsea Zang, Alex Gibson, Missy Lee and Katy Baumgartner all recorded two RBI's in the win. After scoring three in the first, three in the second and two in the third, Wittenberg looked to Zang to keep Alma at bay. Zang recorded her second win of the year after logging 5.1 innings of work, scattering seven hits while giving up five earned. Katelyn Niswonger came in for the final five outs, giving up three hits and one earned run as the Tigers gutted out a big win on the road.
GAME TWO NOTES: On a day where offense was not hard to come by, Alma and Wittenberg combined for 17 runs in game two, and 37 for the day. Trailing 4-2 in the top of the sixth, Wittenberg tied the game up at four after a Lee double plated Gibson, followed by a Briana Gibson single that plated Lee. The game was far from over at this point, as Alma took a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth after a two-run homer. The top of the seventh for the TIgers featured some long-ball work of their own, as Curnutte and Cassidy Rowe hit back-to-back big flies to tie the game up at 6-6. Wittenberg plated two in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied 6-6 after a Lee RBI triple and a Gibson RBI single as the Tigers took an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the frame. Alma managed to tie the game up at 8-8 in the bottom of the eighth, before plating the game winning run on an error in the bottom of the ninth. Abby Haab and Zang combined for 8.1 innings of work, scattering 12 hits and striking out seven, while being tagged for six earned runs in the contest.
UP NEXT: Wittenberg hits the road again on Thursday, March 22 for a double-header at Otterbein starting at 3:30 P.M.