March 4, 2014

Softball Stands 3-1 After Tuesday Split in Florida

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CLERMONT, Fla. – The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology softball team split two games on the second day of the College Spring Games Tuesday, dropping the opener 2-1 to Saint Vincent (Pa.) before rebounding for a big 10-1 win in five innings over Houghton (N.Y.).

The Fightin' Engineers improved to 3-1 this season after defeating Grove City and Regis Monday.

Sophomore Marissa Stout (Terre Haute, Ind./South) led the Engineers in Game 1 with a 2-for-3 performance, including a triple and the game's lone run. After Saint Vincent took an early 2-0 lead in the third on three straight hits, Stout responded with a booming leadoff triple in the fourth inning.

Senior Allison Bowman (Fort Wayne, Ind./R Nelson Snider) followed with an RBI groundout to pull Rose-Hulman within one. Saint Vincent would not score in the final three innings to leave the door open for the Engineers, who nearly took advantage in the top of the seventh.

Junior Lindsey Watterson (Lexington, Ind./Southwestern) and freshman Janel Lake (Okawville, Ill./Okawville) led off the inning with two straight singles, but Saint Vincent retired the next three RHIT batters to end the game.

Stout, who was relieved by junior Carly Heibel (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian) in the fourth inning, Stout took the loss for the Engineers, allowing five hits and two runs, while Heibel (who added a single offensively) struck out two and allowed one hit in relief. 

RHIT finished with five hits compared to seven for Saint Vincent.

In Game 2, the Engineers took control early, plating three runs in the third inning. Freshman Ellissa Eckert (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland) reached base on an error and then rounded the bases on three consecutive passed balls to score the game's first run. Sophomore Jett Bender (Monticello, Minn./Monticello) and junior Jessica Ahlborn (Houghton, Mich./Houghton) also scored after reaching base on walks.

In the fourth inning, RHIT exploded for six more runs to take a commanding 9-1 lead. Stout walked and Bowman singled to lead off the inning, setting up a Watterson two-RBI triple. Lake then singled to score Watterson to make it 6-0 Engineers. Bender, Stout and Ahlborn also scored in the fourth.

The Engineers added the final run in the fifth to complete the mercy rule, as Lake reached on an error and then scored on two passed balls to make the final score.

Ahlborn finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple and two runs to lead RHIT in the convincing victory.

Eckert picked up the victory in her first career start in the circle, as she combined with sophomore Taylor Lockhart (Robinson, Ill./Oblong) to limit Houghton to one run, which it scored in the third. In the second inning, Eckert struck out the side on 12 pitches.  

Rose-Hulman will take Wednesday off and resume play Thursday, when the Engineers face Methodist (N.C.) for an 11 a.m. matchup, then Widener (Pa.) for a 3 p.m. contest at the Clermont National Training Center.

For live updates, follow Sports Information Graduate Assistant Nicole Watkins on Twitter at @NicoleWatkinsRH.