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.