SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—Wittenberg softball got off on the right foot in the opening round of the 2018 NCAC Tournament. The Tigers dispatched the Gators of Allegheny College for the third time this season, winning by a score of 11-4. The first game of the tournament between DePauw and Denison ended up going 10 innings before DePauw came out on top, causing for a later start for Wittenberg. Despite the change in schedule, Wittenberg overcame a two-run first inning from the Gators, as Elise Freeland led off with a home run for Wittenberg, igniting the home crowd. While Wittenberg ran away with game one, game two was delayed due to the weather, as DePauw stole the Tiger's buzz in the nightcap. Wittenberg fell 2-0 to DePauw as Wittenberg had opportunities to break the game open, but could not get the decisive hit to pull away from DePauw. The final blow of the winners bracket semifinal game came in the top of the seventh, when DePauw scratched across another run on a perfectly placed bunt. The Tigers now face the winner of tomorrow morning's Denison versus Allegheny game that was originally schedule for Friday at 4:00 P.M.
GAME ONE: After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, Wittenberg turned around and erased the Gator lead with a three run inning in the bottom of the first. After Freeland homered, Abby Curnutte singled to center field, plating Missy Lee. Alex Gibson then singled to right-center, giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead as Victoria Toetz came home to score. Wittenberg held on to the lead until the third inning when Allegheny scratched across another run. The bottom of the third featured a bases loaded walk and a Lee single that saw the Tigers jump out to a 6-3 lead, as Lee's two-RBI single increased the gap. The bottom of the fourth put the Gators away for Wittenberg, as Curnutte homered, Olivia Hopkins recorded a two-RBI single, and Briana Gibson came across to score on a first and third double-steal situation. With an 11-4 lead, Senior Abby Haab improved to 10-7 after scattering nine hits in the win. Haab recorded 146 pitches in her seven innings of work, striking out four and walking four.
GAME TWO: Wittenberg had their opportunities in game two, but could not scratch across a run, as DePauw managed to scrape across two runs in the seven inning contest. Wittenberg scattered eight hits in the contest, and struck out five times as a team, as the Tiger stranded eight baserunners on the day. Chelsea Zang went the distance in the contest, scattering eight hits and striking out two while surrendering two DePauw runs.
LOOK AHEAD: As a result of an extended rain delay that interrupted Friday's schedule at the 2018 NCAC Softball Tournament, we have a revised tournament schedule, printed below. The revised schedule guarantees that no team will play four games in a single day.
Saturday Softball Schedule
10:00 a.m. Game 4 - Allegheny v Denison
12:00 p.m. Game 5 - Winner Game 4 v Wittenberg
2:00 p.m. Game 6 - DePauw v Winner Game 5
4:00 p.m. Game 7 (if necessary) ** If the loser of Game 3 wins Game 5 ***