Two very different softball games unfolded at Johnny Williams Field Tuesday afternoon.
Walsh University exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning of an 11-0 win over the Hillsdale College softball team in the first half of their G-MAC doubleheader. In game two, the Chargers returned the shutout favor, as freshman pitcher Erin Hunt shut down the Cavs in a 4-0 Hillsdale win.
The Chargers are now 11-11 overall and 5-5 in conference play.
The Cavs scored nine unearned runs in the fourth inning, breaking open what had been a scoreless contest to that point. Walsh catcher Jessie Rock hit two home runs in the inning to spark the offensive output. Walsh outhit Hillsdale 10-4 in the opener.
Game two was also scoreless until the Chargers got a rally going in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior Katie Kish, the team's leading hitter, stepped up with a bases-loaded single scoring senior Kelsey Gockman for the team's first run of the day. Junior Amanda Marra's sacrifice fly one batter later scored sophomore Victoria Addis to double the lead to 2-0.
Sophomore Sydney San Juan came through with another clutch hit for Hillsdale with a two-out single up the middle that scored Kish and freshman Sarah Wojcik. Those four runs turned out to be plenty for Hunt, who was dominant on the mound.
Hunt threw a one-hit shutout, striking out nine batters with two walks allowed. Walsh's biggest threat came in the third inning when it loaded the bases with nobody out. Fresh off a double-digit win in the opener, momentum was clearly on the Cavs' side and they threatened to go up big for a second consecutive game. A hit batter, single and error loaded the bases. But Hunt stayed focused, striking out three consecutive batters – two of them looking – to end the threat in the most emphatic way possible. Her clutch pitching energized the Charger dugout and helped get the team some positive energy, which paid off two innings later.
Kish was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a run batted in for Hillsdale, while San Juan was 1-for-3 with 2 RBI. Gockman produced two hits while Addis had a hit and scored a run for the Chargers.