GOSHEN, Ind. - The Goshen College softball team improved to 3-0 in one-run games, earning a split with visiting Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a 2-1 victory in game two on Saturday.
The day got off to a rough start for the Maple Leafs, who surrendered six first-inning runs to the Cougars. The big outburst came behind just two hits as three Maple Leaf errors helped Mount Vernon to a dream start.
Goshen was able to score a single run in the bottom half, also taking advantage of a miscue by the opposing defense. They left the bases loaded, though, and could not get anything else going offensively the rest of the contest.
Cougar starter Ashley Riffell held the Maple Leafs to just three hits and went the distance to earn the win. Konnor Byers led MVNU offensively with a 3-for-5 game, while Keli Thompson went 2-for-4 in the 11-1 victory. Grace Ispas the bad-luck pitcher of the afternoon, allowing seven hits and no earned runs over her five innings of work for the Leafs.
After being the hero with a walk-off homer against Taylor last night, freshman Brittany Wingard got Goshen off on the right foot in game two. She homered on a 2-2 pitch - her third of the season - for a 1-0 Maple Leaf lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Mount Vernon answered in the top of the second. A leadoff double by Morgan Wade eventually turned into a run with an RBI ground out by Cambree Moser and the score was tied 1-1.
The score remained knotted up until the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Morgan Owens hit a two-out RBI single - her first run batted in of her career - to left field putting the Leafs back on top.
Blankenship, who scored the decisive run, closed the game out in the circle with the help of catcher Kourtney Mueller. Mueller threw out a potential base runner at second to the end the game, but the story remained Blankenship. She allowed just one hit in the second inning, firing a complete-game and is the pitcher of record in all three of Goshen's wins.
The Maple Leafs (3-17, 3-7 Crossroads League) will be back in action when they travel to Bethel College on Tuesday.