Springfield, Ohio – In another exciting offensive show put on by the Wittenberg softball team, the Tigers split the doubleheader series with the Polar Bears of Ohio Northern University from Betty Doughman Dillahunt Field in the non-conference showdown. Wittenberg tallied 11 hits in the opener, taking game one from ONU by a score of 9-8. It was a tight battle to the finish in game two, as the visitors wound up on top 9-8 in the final game of the series. Through the excitement of the offensive production being put on by the Red and White, senior Abby Curnutte launched her 16th home run of career for the Tigers. The shot to clear the fence in left-center field by Curnutte ties the all-time career home run record set by Laura Rose (2011-14).
Game One Breakdown
Elise Freeland went 4 for 4 from the plate with a double and a triple to her credit to open the day, while coming around to score three times for the Red and White in the opener. After the Tigers took an early 2-0 advantage at the end of the second inning, Wittenberg kept the offense alive heading into the third. Missy Lee drove in another run when reaching on the fielder's choice. Curnutte ripped a double to left field to extend the Wittenberg advantage to 4-1 in the third before Nikki Hawkins could cap off the rally with a sacrifice fly to bring home the final run. After Ohio Northern found a late rally of their own to bring the game back to even at 7-7 in the sixth inning, Aubrie Stillings put Wittenberg back on to with a sharply hit ball back at the pitcher, allowing Freeland to come home to score. Lee knocked in the final Tiger run with a hard-hit ground ball to the right side, while Stillings scored on the ONU error.
Katelyn Niswonger got the start, picking up the win for the Red and White in game one, striking out two with seven hits allowed.
Game Two Breakdown
Ohio Northern plated the first run of the second game. Wittenberg responded to regain the lead off a Victoria Toetz single followed by a Lauren Buelow two-RBI single to right field, giving the Red and White the 3-1 lead. After Ohio Northern brought things back to even at 3-3 in the top half of the third inning. Elaina Adams sent a shot to straightaway center field, giving Wittenberg back the lead at 5-3. With four ONU runs crossing the plate in the fourth inning, Stillings tallied an RBI single to right to bring the Tigers within one run of the ONU lead. The bottom of the fifth saw the Curnutte homer to left center, bringing Wittenberg back to within two as ONU held a 9-7 lead. Elyssa Labine knocked in the final Tiger run on a single up the middle, as the final Wittenberg rally came up just one run short.
Wittenberg will return to action on Wednesday, April 17 with an NCAC showdown against the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan from Betty Doughman Dillahunt Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 3:30 PM.