TIFFIN - In softball, sometimes you hit the ball and sometimes the ball hits you. In yet another strange tale from the Heidelberg University softball season, both happened on the same play.
A potential game-winning run was erased from the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth when a single by Jami Wagner (New Riegel) struck base runner Jessica Lieberth (Aurora) trying to advance from second to third. The dead ball forced Lydia Stover (Norris City, IL/Olney Central College) back to third base.
Muskingum University wriggled off the hook in the ninth and won 8-7 in 11 innings in the first game of an OAC doubleheader. The Muskies swept the doubleheader, winning game two, 10-4.
Heidelberg, playing on Community Day, raced out to a 4-0 start with a run in the second and three in the third. Lieberth had an RBI double down the left field line in the third.
The Muskies tied it up in the fourth. Muskingum socked six singles off of ‘Berg starter Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview) to do their damage.
The score remained 4-4 until the Student Princes plated a run in the sixth. Kayla Zachrich (Defiance/Ayersville) tripled with one out and scored on a hit by Bri Sinden (New Philadelphia).
Undaunted, the Muskies tied the game in the seventh. Kayley Bevard reached on an infield single to lead off. After a dropped foul ball, Courtney Moyer made Heidelberg pay by lacing a double to left center, which scored Bevard.
After a scoreless eighth, Muskingum went ahead in the ninth. Moyer, who walked to lead off the inning, scored on a sinking liner to right that Heidelberg’s right fielder Andi Lowe (Westerville/Central) was unable to snag.
In the ninth, Heidelberg (10-10, 0-6 OAC) tied it up quickly. Lowe tripled to right and scored on a single to center by Stover. After Lieberth singled, a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third. Then Wagner’s single clipped the heel of Lieberth. After that, Heidelberg still had a chance to win the game. But Muskingum pitcher Morgan Yackey, who threw all 11 innings, got a pop up and a fly out to end the threat.
In the eleventh, a two-out two-run homer to left by Andrea Larkin gave Muskingum an 8-6 lead.
Heidelberg plated one in the bottom half of the inning, but the Muskies escaped with the win.
In game two, Muskingum (16-6, 3-3 OAC) broke a close game open with a five-run fourth.
The Student Princes cut a 2-0 deficit in half with an unearned run.
Muskingum answered in the fourth. The Muskies used five hits, a walk and an error to score five runs off of Heidelberg starter Paige Atterholt (DeGraff/Riverside).
The Muskies would add two more in the fifth on a two-run single by Bevard.
Down 9-1, Heidelberg scored a run in the fifth. Marissa Smego (Parma/Trinity) singled home Lisa Simmons (Westerville/North), who had doubled.
After Muskingum responded with a run in the sixth, Heidelberg scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Wagner hit an RBI fielder’s choice and Simmons slapped an RBI single. But, Smego lined into a double play to end the rally.
Heidelberg will return to Jocko Huffman Field on Sunday for a non-conference doubleheader against Case Western. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.