Softball Splits Twin Bill at Franklin, edge Grizzlies in Game 1


225Strain ScoringFRANKLIN, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology softball team split with Franklin College in Friday's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader, winning Game 1, 1-0, before falling to the Grizzlies in the nightcap, 7-2.

In Game 1, junior Jessica Ahlborn (Houghton, Mich./Houghton) drilled a two-out double to right field to score sophomore Whitney Strain (St. Charles, Mo./Orchard Farm) from first to put the Fightin' Engineers (11-7, 5-3 HCAC) up, 1-0. 

The Grizzlies (15-13, 3-5) threatened to score after loading the bases with one out in the sixth, but RHIT starter Carly Heibel (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian) forced the next two Franklin batters into a foul out to catcher Allison Bowman (Fort Wayne, Ind./R Nelson Snider) and a fly out to Ahlborn in centerfield to end the inning. 

Heibel (7-2) picked up her seventh win and second shutout of the season in the circle, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out two in seven innings pitched. 

Bowman added a single and sophomore Marissa Stout (Terre Haute, Ind./South) added two singles to lead the Engineers at the plate in Game 1. 

In Game 2, it was the Grizzlies who gained an early lead, as a Savannah Blevins RBI-single gave Franklin a quick 1-0 advantage in the first. Franklin added three more runs in the second on three hits, the biggest a Jeana Gregory three-RBI double that cleared the bases with two outs and put the Grizzlies up, 4-0.

After Franklin added two more runs in the fifth, Rose-Hulman's offense struck with a Bowman RBI-single to score Stout, who doubled with two outs. Franklin added one more run in the bottom of the inning to take a commanding 7-1 lead into the seventh.

The Engineers had one last gasp, as Strain singled with two outs, setting up an Ahlborn RBI triple to make it 7-2. 

Heibel took the loss for the Engineers, allowing four runs and five hits in two innings pitched. Sophomore Taylor Lockhart (Robinson, Ill./Oblong) came on in relief, finishing the game with two earned runs and five hits in four innings. 

Ahlborn, Stout, and Bowman (double) each totaled two hits for the Engineers, with Strain adding a single. 

Rose-Hulman returns home for an HCAC doubleheader with Hanover Sunday, April 13, at the RHIT Softball Complex. Game 1 is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

Live stats will be available for Sunday's contests at