Softball Sweeps HCAC Opener Over Manchester

ahlborn-mcGAME 1 BOX SCORE; GAME 2 BOX SCORE

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology opened the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference softball season with a 7-4 and 6-5 doubleheader sweep over Manchester College on Wednesday night.

In the opener, freshman Carly Heibel (Fort Wayne/Lakewood Park) and freshman Jessica Ahlborn (Houghton, Mich.) paced the Engineers with three hits each.  Heibel smashed a double and a triple with one run and two RBIs.  Ahlborn had a single, double and two runs scored.

Sophomore Jenna Martinek (Troy, Mo./Buchanan) also contributed to the offensive effort with a two-run single.

The offense helped make a winner of junior Brianne Widmoyer (Elkhart/Central), who improved to 4-4 with a complete game effort.  Widmoyer scattered 11 hits with one walk and one strikeout to earn the win.

Manchester jumped out to a 2-0 lead, before Rose-Hulman scored once in the third to move within 2-1 on a double by Ahlborn and a triple by Heibel.  The Fightin' Engineers added three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to secure the win.

Ahlborn and Heibel started off the fifth with back-to-back hits, before junior Alyse Mueller (Belleville, Ill./West) had an RBI single.  Following a fielding error, freshman Rosemary Yost (North Canton, Ohio/Jackson) brought home the third run with a bases loaded hit by pitch.

In the sixth, a walk and two fielding errors set up a two-run single by Martinek to start the rally.  Yost again brought home the final run of the frame on a bases loaded hit by pitch.

In the nightcap, the teams were tied at 1-1 after four innings before the offenses took over.  Rose-Hulman scored five runs in the fifth, before Manchester answered with four in the sixth.  Widmoyer came back to the pitching circle to earn the save on a two-out seventh inning lineout to Heibel with runners on second and third.

Freshman Samantha Springer (Irving, Texas/Parish Episcopal) led the Engineers with two singles and two RBIs in the nightcap.  Mueller pitched in with a single, a run and an RBI, while picking up the pitching win in five strong innings of work.

The five-run fifth inning rally featured Rose-Hulman taking advantage of two fielding errors by the Spartans.  Widmoyer contributed an RBI single, and Springer added a key two-run hit to cap the frame.

Rose-Hulman improved to 6-12 on the season and 2-0 in league play, while Manchester dropped to 9-11 and 0-2 in HCAC games.  The Engineers host Transylvania in another league matchup on Saturday at 2 p.m.