CLERMONT, Fla. – After starting out the year with four straight victories for just the fourth time in program history, the Haverford College softball team was dealt its first two setbacks of the 2015 season on Tuesday. The Fords' four-game winning streak came to an end as Millikin scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth for an eventual 4-3 victory. Berry edged out Haverford in the second game, 7-5, as the Vikings used a five-run fourth inning to pace the victory.
Millikin 4, Haverford 3
Playing as the visiting team in Tuesday's first game, Haverford struck first when Miwa Wenzel tripled with two away in the top of the second, scoring Jill Schnall after she reached on a fielder's choice. In the bottom half of the inning, Millikin got that run back with a two-out hit of its own. The Big Blue took their first lead of the game during the following inning. With runners on first and third and two down, Millikin sent the runner from first. She got caught up in a rundown for enough time to allow the runner to score from third, giving the home team a 2-1 edge.
The Fords bounced right back in their next at-bats with two runs to reclaim the lead. Schnall reached with one out via an infield error. The Fords again did their damage with two outs as Wenzel drove in the game-tying run on a single. She was then brought around to score on a triple off the bat of Julie Garlick, staking Haverford to a 3-2 lead.
Millikin loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Haverford defense turned a double play to escape that jam before Emily Winesett set the Big Blue down in succession in the fifth. However, Millikin broke through in its final chance. A leadoff single was bunted into scoring position. Another single put runners on the corners before a stolen base put both runners in scoring position. A groundout to third held the runners, but this time the Fords were victim of the two-out hit as a single gave the Big Blue a 4-3 lead. All seven runs in Tuesday's opening game came with two outs.
Haverford got a two-out single from Jessica Koshinski in its final at-bats, but she would be stranded. Koshinski and Wenzel each finished the game with two hits for the Fords. Winesett took her first loss of the year as she went the distance, tossing six innings and allowing four runs – three of which were earned. Cathy Lebryk earned the win in the circle for Millikin as she also threw a complete game.
Berry 7, Haverford 5
Playing its second game of the back-to-back contests, Haverford found itself in an early hole as Berry scored in the third, fourth, and fifth innings to take a 7-3 lead. Berry was up 6-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth before the Fords attempted to mount a comeback bid. Schnall and Wenzel both singled to start the inning before a walk to Chambers loaded the bases with nobody out.
Two grounders on the infield would result in the first that tried to score being cut down at the plate. However, Garlick was able to get an RBI groundout that put two away. Koshinski would add a two-out single for another RBI. In the fifth inning, an RBI single from Wenzel and passed ball made the score 7-5 but both pitchers would shut down the opposition in the final two innings as Berry emerged victorious.
Haverford outhit Berry by an 11-8 margin in the contest. Wenzel led the Fords with a 3-for-4 game at the plate. She also drove in two runs and scored two runs. Koshinski, Schnall, and Chambers also finished with two hits each.
After three straight days of doubleheaders to open the 2015 season, softball has its scheduled day away from competition on Wednesday. The Fords have four games remaining in Florida. The team will resume game action Thursday against Wittenberg (3 p.m.) and Hood (5 p.m.).