WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- The Heidelberg University softball team fell in an elimination game in game four of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament on Sunday morning. Mount Union defeated the Berg 8-2, ending HU's season and its chance at an OAC Tournament three-peat.
The game, originally scheduled for Friday, then late Saturday, was pushed to Sunday morning due to inclement weather.
A leadoff walk came back to hurt the Berg in the bottom of the first inning. Playing as the home team, Mount Union scored when OAC Freshman of the Year Morgan Riley roped a double down the left field line to score Brittany Baitt.
Heidelberg evened the score in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back singles from Renee Lovett and Bailey Smith led off the inning for the Student Princes. Casey Moore drove her team-leading 12th double of the season to the wall in left centerfield. Lovett scored on the play, but a beautiful 8-6-2 relay from the Purple Raiders eliminated further damage by throwing out Smith at the plate.
The Purple Raiders took a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the frame. With runners on second and third, MTU's Allie Scali blooped a single into right field, allowing both runners to score on the hit. Scali was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double -- getting HU out of the inning before further damage was done.
With two outs in the fifth, junior Kaitlin Keys hit her second home run of the season -- an opposite field line drive to cut the score to 3-2.
Mount Union added three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Jordan Kramer doubled to left centerfield and moved to second on a single by Baitt. With two out and two on, Logan Lehman drilled the first pitch of her at bat onto the roof of the fieldhouse that sits behind the fence in left field. The blast was the senior's seventh of the season.
Looking for insurance runs in the sixth, MTU got its answer off the bat of Brittany Baitt. The junior belted a 2-run homerun to left centerfield to bring the score to 8-2.
INSIDE THE BATTER'S BOX
Two rare double plays were turned in the matchup, one by each team. In the top of the first, HU lined a sacrifice bunt right at the MTU defense, picking off the runner on first. In the second inning, the Student Princes returned the favor with a twin killer of their own.
With her RBI double today, freshman Casey Moore led HU in both two-baggers (12) and RBI (23).
LEAVING THEIR MARK
The loss ends the illustrious careers of Erin Chapman, Randi Kelsey, Taylor Hicks, and Christine Bowling. The quartet compiled a record of 114-50-1 in their four seasons at HU, including two OAC Tournament Championships and a 2015 NCAA Regional Championship.
Chapman leaves the Berg holding numerous pitching records, including the career leader in strikeouts with 263. The Holt, Michigan native finished with a 43-20 record in the circle, while hitting .314 with 20 RBI.
Splitting time between catching and outfield, Kelsey was known for her patient at bats, leaving HU with 66 walks and a career on-base percentage of .389. She hit 20 extra base hits and drove in 47 over her four years.
Hicks was known for her impressive range and arm as the centerfielder for the past three seasons. The Marysville native graduates with a .320 average, 25 stolen bases, and 21 outfield assists.
After missing her freshman season due to injury, Bowling finished her time at the Berg with a .245 record and 19 runs driven in.
Heidelberg concludes its 2017 season with a 25-14-1 record. Mount Union moves on to another elimination game against Capital. The winner will face Otterbein for the OAC Tournament title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.