How the Charger softball team won its two games in Clearwater, Florida Saturday couldn't have been more different. But the results were happily accepted, all the same.
Senior Bekah Kastning blasted a walk-off, bases-loaded triple to give Hillsdale a 3-2 win on the day's first game at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The second game was much less dramatic, and much shorter, as the Chargers dispatched Trevecca Nazarene 9-1 in five innings.
Hillsdale is now 2-2 on the season.
Offense has been hard to come by at this prestigious event for Hillsdale. The Chargers scored a total of two runs in their first 20 innings of play, spanning two games plus six full innings. Saturday morning, Hillsdale trailed Catawba 2-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, an inning in which the team would exceed its run total from those previous 20 innings.
The seventh-inning rally was started by freshman Shelby Sprouse, who singled to left field. Then, with two outs, pinch hitter Cassie Asselta was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. Freshman Erin Gordon struck out swinging, but the ball got away from the catcher, and the alert Gordon successfully advanced to first base, setting the table for Kastning.
Kastning then crushed a triple to right field, scoring Sprouse, pinch-runner Carly Gouge and Gordon to give the Chargers a wild victory.
Catawba had to have hated seeing Kastning come up to bat in such a crucial situation. She went 3-for-4 in the game and had 3 RBI, all coming on the final swing of the contest. Sprouse, Kelsey Gockman and Haley Lawrence also had hits in the win. Freshman pitcher Dana Weindinger recorded her first collegiate victory, striking out three while not allowing an earned run.
In game 2, Hillsdale jumped all over future G-MAC opponent Trevecca Nazarene from the get-go, scoring twice in the first inning, four times in the second and two more times in the third. An offense that was shutout for a long stretch of play suddenly was getting contributions from everyone.
Kastning went 3-for-4 for the second straight game, including a double, and scored two runs. Lawrence and sophomore Amanda Marra also doubled, while Asselta was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Freshman Victoria Addis had a hit, a run scored and an RBI for Hillsdale.
Gordon picked up her first collegiate pitching win, going four innings with just four hits and one run allowed.