Tiffin, Ohio – March 31, 2010 – Stepping away from non-conference action has produced the same results for the Heidelberg University softball team and second-year head coach Betsy Hada. In its 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference opener the Berg swept Mount Union College, winning game one 2-1 and game two 4-3. The doubleheader marked the home opener for the Berg as well.
Heidelberg is off to its best start in program history and stands at 15-3. The win over Mount Union snapped an 11-game losing streak that dates back to 2004 and the two wins mark the first time the Berg has swept the Purple Raiders since the 1997 season. The victories also mark the first time the Berg has opened up league play with a sweep since topping Wilmington College twice in 2001.
Mount Union entered the game ranked 23rd in the nation according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and is coming off a season that featured a runner-up finish at the OAC Tournament. Following the two setbacks the Purple Raiders stand at 12-10 overall and are 0-2 against league foes.
In game one, Heidelberg and Mount Union battled to scoreless tie through six innings of action. In the top of the seventh, with two outs, Mount Union took advantage of two Heidelberg miscues to plate a run on an RBI single to right center by Ashley Henriques.
Heidelberg was resilient in its last at bat. With two on and two outs, Heidelberg’s base runners took advantage of a fielding error by the Purple Raiders to score two runs for the win. Scoring in the inning was Megan Reinhart (Tiffin, Ohio / Hopewell-Loudon) and Tinleigh Fisher (Columbus, Ohio / Westland).
Throwing a complete game and earning the win was Dana Thoms (Amherst, Ohio / Firelands). Thoms had a two-hitter with one strike out and a walk to improve to 9-2 on the year.
At the plate for the Berg Carrie Moran (Lakewood, Ohio / Lakewood), Hannah Brumit (Stone Creek, Ohio / New Philadelphia), Ashley Stromack (LaGrange, Ohio / Keystone) and Kaitlyn Esordi (Brownstown, Ohio / Oscar A. Carlson) each had a hit.
In the nightcap, Bessie Artino (Bellevue, Ohio / Bellevue) got things going for the Berg with a solo shot to center field as the lead off batter in the second inning.
Heidelberg’s one-run advantage held up until the top of the fourth when Mount Union jumped ahead 2-1. Its lead was short lived as the Berg responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of its own. Reinhart had an RBI double to center field to score pinch runner Bobbi Kendeigh (Oberlin, Ohio / Firelands) and two batters later Paige Diers (New Richmond, Ohio / New Richmond) knocked in Stromack on a single to left center field.
The eventual game-winning run for Heidelberg came courtesy of Brumit. In the fifth she singled to left center field with two outs to plate Moran.
Mount Union scored its final run of the game in the sixth inning, but the Berg’s defense played flawless in the seventh to secure the win.
The win on the mound went to Ali Sayre (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania-Northview). Sayre got the start and scattered seven hits in 5.0 innings of work. She struck out two and did not walk a batter to increase her second record to 3-0. Thoms came in to close out the game. In 2.0 innings she gave up just one hit and a run to earn her second save for the year.
Heidelberg finished with nine hits in the game. Brumit led the way going a perfect 2-for-2 with an RBI. Finishing at 2-for-3 was Stromack and Reinhart.