ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College softball team swept cross-town rival Siena Heights University on Thursday, March 28 in a pair of one-run games. The Bulldogs took the first one 5-4 and then the second one 4-3 thanks to a go-ahead solo home run for junior Destiny Rogers, the first long ball of her career. This is AC's third sweep of the season and the Black and Gold have won nine of their last 11 heading into the start of conference season.
Game One Scoreline: Adrian 5-7-1 | Siena Heights 4-9-2
Game Two Scoreline: Adrian 4-5-1 | Siena Heights 3-10-2
Location: Adrian, Mich. (Christensen Memorial Softball Field)
Records: AC 12-6, SHU 17-7
Adrian got the first run of the day in the top of the second, scoring in what seems to be the team's favorite way: with two outs. Junior Infinity Rogers doubled to right center with two outs and then came around to score when her sister Destiny singled to the gap in left center to drive in the run, the first of three she would have on the day.
When the game headed into the bottom of the second, freshman pitcher Natalie Mathers was hitting her stride, and was in the middle of retiring nine straight batters before giving up a single in the fourth. That single would come around to score on the next at bat with a double to right, tying the game at one.
The Bulldogs retook the lead in the fifth, starting with a single through the right side of the infield by sophomore Alaina Macksoud. A sac bunt from D. Rogers sent her to second and a single from classmate Jamie Bell through the left side of the infield brought her home for the 2-1 lead.
Adrian gave itself some insurance in the sixth, scoring three runs in the inning to build a four-run lead. Senior Paige Cubberly was hit by a pitch to start the inning and was taken out for junior Ashley Lenington to run for her. Lenington took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout to the first baseman. Fellow junior Madison Budde came in to pinch hit and sent one back up the middle to bring home Lenington.
Budde swiped second and came round to score when the left fielder bobbled a single hit to her off the bat of I. Rogers, who advanced to second on the throw. Macksoud was up next and hit a grounder to the pitcher who didn't know whether to go to third or first with it, allowing both runners to reach their base safely. D. Rogers then came up and drove in her sister for the second time in the game, with a ground out to short on a fielder's choice.
Siena Heights started a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, determined to climb out of the hole it dug itself into. The comeback attempt started with a leadoff homer to left field, bringing the score to 5-2. Then the Saints earned their runs with small ball, firing off a single, a double, a ground out, and another single to pick up two more runs to make it 5-4. The Bulldogs went to the bullpen after that and brought on sophomore pitcher Emily Baldus. Baldus got out of the sixth and then closed the game out in the seventh to give AC the win and pick up her first save of the season.
Adrian didn't waste any time getting on the board in the second game, picking up two runs in the top of the first. Bell singled up the left side and advanced to second on a sac bunt from senior catcher Natalia Younan. Bell advanced to third on a ground out and then Cubberly walked. Both came around to score when freshman Katie Connolly doubled to left.
The Saints threatened in the second but didn't score until the third where they scored three times to take the lead. A double to left and a single to left center put runners at the corners and then a single up the middle scored the runner on third. A fly out to right advanced the runners to second and third, who both came around to score on a single to right center to give SHU the lead.
It took until the fifth for the Black and Gold to answer but they did, with Bell leading things off with a single down the left field line and a swipe of second. Younan was hit by a pitch and advanced to second and Bell to third on a sac bunt by senior Krista Lynch. Both runners advanced again on a wild pitch, with Bell crossing home plate to even the score.
Younan couldn't score from third and the teams went tied into the sixth, and then the seventh still deadlocked at three apiece. It was in the seventh that D. Rogers played the hero, hitting a go-ahead homer into the wind in left field to lead off the top of the seventh. Siena Heights made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. Baldus was in the circle and didn't let the pressure get to her, getting the next three Saints batter to foul fly out, strikeout, and ground out to win the game and secure the sweep.
• D. Rogers had three RBIs over the two games to lead the team. Rogers now has eight RBIs on the year and they have all come this week. Connolly also had multiple RBIs on the day, picking up the other two in game two.
• Bell had the most hits on the team, with three. Joining her with multiple hits were both Rogers sisters and Connolly.
• Mathers started the first game and gave up four runs (two earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts in five and a third innings of work for the win. Baldus got the save, giving up one hit and one walk in the final one and two third innings. Cubberly started the second game and went three innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with a walk in a no decision. Baldus came on in relief again and got the win, going the final four innings and only giving up two hits and two walks with a strikeout to improve to 2-1 on the year.
• Kristi Carlson had two RBIs to lead the Saints.
• The two, three, four hitters for Siena Heights in Lily Guerra, Ashley Helmink, and Racquel Ward all had four hits.
• Ward took the loss in both games, going the distance in game one and giving up five runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Lauren Valdez started game two and went five innings, giving up three runs on four hits with three walks issued and one strikeout. She was pulled in favor of Ward to start the sixth, who gave up the home run and took the loss, the only hit she gave up in two innings of work in the second game.
Adrian is scheduled to start conference play this weekend with a doubleheader at Olivet. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. but the game could be delayed or canceled due to the impending rain storms expected to hit the state this weekend.
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