TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – With a thrilling finish in Game 2, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology softball team swept Greenville College, 1-0 and 6-5 in eight innings, in a nonconference doubleheader Thursday.
The Fightin' Engineers improved to 10-6 overall with the two victories while Greenville dropped to 15-9.
RHIT (4-2 HCAC) is set to travel to Franklin College (14-12, 2-4) for a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference twin bill Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m.
In Game 2, Rose-Hulman freshman Ellissa Eckert (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland) was the hero with her game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning to score fellow freshman Janel Lake (Okawville, Ill./Okawville) from second. Lake singled one batter earlier, scoring junior Lindsey Watterson (Lexington, Ind./Southwestern) from second to tie the game at 5-all after Greenville took the lead in the top of extras.
Rose-Hulman saw a 4-0 lead erased by a Greenville offensive surge late, as the Panthers plated three runs in the sixth and added the game-tying run in the top of the seventh. The Engineers took an early lead when junior Jessica Ahlborn (Houghton, Mich./Houghton) blasted her third home of the season, a solo shot to center field, in the first inning. Classmate Carly Heibel (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lakewood Park Christian) followed Ahlborn with her second long ball of the year, a two-run shot to left field that gave RHIT a 3-0 lead in the first.
The Fightin' Engineers would add one more run in the third when a Greenville error allowed Heibel (single) to score from first to make it 4-0 Rose-Hulman.
Eckert started Game 2 in the circle, allowing nine hits and three earned runs in six innings pitched. Heibel picked up the win in two innings of relief, allowing two hits and no earned runs to keep her season ERA at 0.87 in 48.3 innings pitched.
Lake proved to have the winning hit in Game 1, as her fifth-inning single to right field got by the Greenfield fielder and allowed pinch runner Cassidy Bevington (Delphos, Ohio/Delphos Jefferson) to score from first after Ashley Loy (Cedar Lake, Ind./Hanover Central) singled.
Sophomore Taylor Lockhart (Robinson, Ill./Oblong) picked up the shutout victory with seven strong innings in the circle, allowing five hits and striking out one.
Heibel and Ahlborn finished the two-game series with three hits, a home run and an RBI, Loy, Lake and Eckert added two hits, and Jenna Martinek (Troy, Mo./Troy Buchanan) added a single and a run to lead the Engineers.
After Friday's doubleheader at Franklin, the Engineers return home for a HCAC doubleheader against Hanover Sunday, April 13. Game 1 is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the RHIT Softball Complex.