WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- The No. 2 Heidelberg University softball team saw its season come to a close following a 12-3 five inning loss to No. 1 Otterbein University.
Otterbein struck for six runs in the third, before adding two in the fourth and four insurance runs in the top of the fifth. The Cardinals pounded out 17 hits against three Heidelberg pitchers.
The Student Princes got on the board in the bottom of the fifth off the bat of Shelby Miller. After Renee Lovett reached, Miller smoked her second double of the day to right center, plating Lovett. After Casey Moore walked, Abbey McKee singled down the left field, scoring pinch runner Abby Barno. Haylee Patel plated Moore on an infield single, but the deficit was too much for the Berg to overcome.
The loss marks the end of illustrious careers for Haylee Patel, Bailey Smith, Kaitlin Keys, Abbey McKee, and Renee Lovett. The quintet has made the OAC Tournament all four years of their career, including tournament championship wins in 2015 and 2016. They also played a crucial role in Heidelberg's 2015 Regional Championship.
The class combined for 316 RBI and a career average of .341. McKee sits second all-time in doubles (46), home runs (28), and RBI (124).
Heidelberg's season comes to a close with a 26-15 record.
FROM SATURDAY MORNING
WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- It was a wild one.
In Game 4 of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament, the No. 2 Heidelberg University softball team held off No. 4 Muskingum University, 11-10, in an eight-inning affair.
Sophomore Casey Moore played the role of hero, belting a two-run home run in the top of the eighth, propelling the Student Princes to another elimination game. The Berg will play top seeded Otterbein at 1 p.m. today.
Muskingum rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extras.
Freshman Vanessa Macias (8-5) earned the win for HU, hurling 3.2 innings in relief. Moore started the game in the circle, tossing 4.1 innings, allowing just four earned runs.
The Muskies held a 1-0 lead for three innings, courtesy of a solo home run in the first.
The Student Princes scored four times in the fourth, thanks in large part to back-to-back home runs off the bats of Abbey McKee and Kaitlyn Moore. After Miller led off the inning with a double, she was brought home on McKee's homer to center. Moore pushed the Berg's cushion to 3-1 with a solo shot. Senior Bailey Smith capped off the scoring in the frame by doubling home shortstop Leah Bouillon.
Muskingum scratched across one run in the bottom of the frame, cutting HU's advantage to 4-2.
Miller led off the fifth with a single, and an error put runners at the corners with one out for the Student Princes. Moore slapped an infield single to short, plating Miller for a 5-2 lead. Kaitlin Keys extended the lead, crushing a double down the left field line scoring Moore and pinch runner Becca Radabaugh. Bouillon and Smith smacked back-to-back RBI hits, pushing Heidelberg ahead 9-2 after four and a half innings.
Batting as the home team, Muskingum struck for three runs in the bottom of the fifth, just within striking distance of the Berg.
Four straight singles by the Muskies in the bottom of the seventh cut the Heidelberg lead to 9-6. After an RBI groundout, MU slapped a two-run single to right center, tying the game at 9. The Muskies stranded the game-winning run at second.
Miller reached on an infield single, giving way to Casey Moore. Moore's blast was her eighth of the season, pushing Heidelberg ahead 11-9.
A two-out solo shot by the Muskies in the bottom of the eighth would not faze the Student Princes. Macias worked the next batter to ground out to second, pushing Heidelberg into Game 5 of the tournament.