NEW CONCORD, Ohio – The Wilmington College softball team came one out away from defeating Muskingum University for the first time in program history, but the Fighting Muskies rallied for a 5-4 win in nine innings in game one and took game two 12-4 in six innings in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) opener for both teams on Saturday.
The Fighting Muskies scored a single run in the first and the third, but the Fightin' Quakers put together a two-out rally in the fifth. Ali Dixon singled through the right side, and after Megan Crager was hit by a pitch, Hayley Suchland delivered a two-RBI single to tie the game. Singles from Alecia Kemp and Allison Pierce that followed put the visitors up 4-2.
Muskingum failed to score in the fifth and sixth, but loaded the bases with no one out in the seventh. Starter Grace Shell induced a double play, but a Haley Hawk double to right center tied the game. The Muskies would go on to win in the bottom of the ninth on a single from Shaena Mayer.
Shell took just her first loss of the season allowing five earned runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts in 8.2 innings pitched. Hannah Smith, who earned the win, and Hannah Duff combined to not allow a hit in 4.1 innings of work in relief for Muskingum.
The top five batters for Wilmington all had one hit in game one while the top two for Muskingum, Krissy Hughes and Karsyn Shaffer, each had three hits.
In game two, Muskingum scored two runs in the first and three in the second to take a 5-0 lead. The Muskies (16-2, 2-0 OAC) then doubled their lead with a six-hit, five-run fourth. Trailing 10-0, Wilmington put together four runs in the bottom of the fourth on RBI-hits from Suchland and Kemp, but Muskingum added two more in the sixth to close out the game.
Smith picked up her second win on the day recording all but one out along with no earned runs. Suchland took the loss allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits in three innings. Both Hunter Salyers and Alexis Stringfellow allowed two runs in relief.
Kemp finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs for Wilmington while Hughes once against tallied a three-hit game for Muskingum.
Wilmington (8-4, 0-2 OAC) hosts Albion College in its home-opener tomorrow (Sunday). First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.