Lovett, McKee key softball sweep

(Doug Sampson)
(Doug Sampson)

TIFFIN -- Juniors Renee Lovett and Abbey McKee played the role of hero for the Heidelberg University softball team, as they swept a crucial pair of conference victories with John Carroll university. McKee belted a home run in game one to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win, while Lovett hit a walkoff single in the ninth inning to give HU a 2-1 win in the nightcap.

Heidelberg improves to 22-9-1, 11-2-1 OAC while JCU falls to 17-13, 7-7 OAC.

GAME ONE: Heidelberg 2 John Carroll 1

John Carroll struck first with a run in the first inning. Lauren Ciancolo reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, and scored on a soft line drive down the left field line by Lindsay McKnight.

The Berg left runners stranded in the first four innings, but finally got on the board in the fifth. Erin Chapman reached on a fielder's choice with two outs. On a nine pitch at bat, Abbey McKee belted a two run home run deep to centerfield. The blast was the junior's second of the season, 19th of her career.

JCU left runners at the corners with one out stranded in the top of the sixth. Heidelberg starter Chapman retired the side in the seventh for the win. The senior pitcher earned her 11th victory of the season.

GAME TWO: Heidelberg 2 John Carroll 1

Similar to game one, it didn't take long for the Blue Streaks to plate a run. Leadoff hitter Hannah Mizener lined a screaming triple down the right field line. Mizener was held up at third, but the Berg opted to throw home. The throw got away from HU catcher Kaitlin Keys which allowed Mizener to score.

The Student Princes evened the score in the bottom of the second. Randi Kelsey worked a walk, and scored on a double to deep centerfield off the bat of Christine Bowling.

Heidelberg threatened in the sixth inning with runners on second and third, but JCU relief pitcher Kelly Geringer worked out of the jam via strikeout. HU also had a runner on second with one out in the seventh, but could not push the winning run across.

Bowling led off the ninth with a bloop single to center and advanced to second on a fielding error. A sacrifice bunt from Taylor Hicks put Bowling at third with one out. Renee Lovett blasted a long fly ball single to right field to score Bowling and give HU the win.

Kaitlyn Moore (10-4) picked up the win. The freshman struck out seven over nine innings.

QUOTES FROM THE COACH

"John Carroll is a good team," said head coach Kelli Williams. "Our girls did a good job of putting pressure on them."

Williams on game two: "Chris did a great job putting the ball in play and Taylor followed with a great bunt ... Renee was put in a great spot and they all executed very well."

INSIDE THE BATTER'S BOX

With her home run, McKee is now tied with Bessie Artino (2010-2012) for third place on HU's all-time home run list. The record is currently held by graduate assistant coach Mikaela Mitsch, who hit 29 in her career.

After drawing three walks on the day, Randi Kelsey brings her season total to 14.

UP NEXT

The Student Princes have a quick turnaround, as they will travel to Ohio Northern (23-9, 9-5) tomorrow afternoon for an OAC twinbill. Game times are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m.