SPRING ARBOR, Mich. — Four Goshen College doubles and three Maple Leafs with two-hit games converted to just one run Friday as the GC softball team dropped a Crossroads League doubleheader at Spring Arbor University by scores of 6-1 and 3-0.
The Maple Leafs (9-19, 6-16) had a trio of early chances to take the lead in game one after a one-out double from Candace Sutter in the first inning, a two-out triple off Krista Sutliff's bat in the second and an Allison White leadoff two-bagger in the third. In all three cases, however, the Maple Leafs went down in order from that point forward.
Spring Arbor (16-24, 11-13) brought home its first three runs in the second inning, getting two hits and two errors before the first out and a two-run Hope Longenbarger single with one out to make the score 3-0. Two more singles and a fielding error made it 5-0 after three innings.
GC went down in order in the fourth inning before allowing a one-out triple to Megan Labut that gave SAU its largest lead, 6-0, in the fourth. Brianna Sherman and Courtney Crapser each singled in the next two innings, but neither crossed the plate.
The visitors got their only run in the seventh inning against the SAU bullpen when Taylor Sutliff doubled down the left-field line and Sherman knocked her in with a single to center.
SAU third sacker Savannah Weaver joined Sherman as the only players with two hits, although Longenbarger reached base twice on a hit and a walk. The seven runs came from seven players while Longenbarger drove in two.
Kelsey Brown got the win for SAU after allowing four hits in five innings; Nicolette Thibodeau worked the final two frames. Alexis Carpenter and Brooke Maes each went three innings in the circle for GC.
Carpenter also got the start for Goshen in game two, which was played with the same 10 participants in each lineup throughout.
After each team got two hits and left three runners on board in the first two innings, SAU broke through for the game's first run in the third. Labut and Kelsey Brown led off with infield singles before moving up on a throwing error. A ground ball to third base recorded the first out before a sacrifice fly brought in the runner.
Sandra Rodriguez's leadoff single put the tying run on for the Maple Leafs in the fourth; she took second base on a sacrifice bunt, but the ball would not leave the infield for the rest of the inning as she was stranded.
Carpenter got the first out of the fourth in the circle before allowing back-to-back solo home runs, ending her day after 3 1/3 innings and three runs, two of which were earned. Crapser moved from the designated player spot to the circle for her first collegiate pitching appearance, which she started with a single before retiring eight of the next 11 batters for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Maple Leafs mustered singles in both the fifth and sixth innings before turning in arguably their best scoring chance in the seventh. Taylor Sutliff led off the inning with a walk before a Krista Sutliff single to right brought the tying run to the plate. Sherman struck out and Sutter flied out before a free pass to Crapser loaded the bases, but a popout to third base ended the threat and sealed the sweep.
Brown and Longenbarger each finished with two hits for SAU, as did Rodriguez and Krista Sutliff for Goshen. Lauren Heath picked up the complete-game shutout win with six hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
The Maple Leafs' defeats, coupled with a split by Mount Vernon Nazarene against Taylor, leave Goshen one game out of the eighth and final tournament position in the Crossroads League; each team plays 12 more games.
Goshen concludes a 10-game road trip at Taylor with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday before returning to the John Ingold Athletic Complex for six of its last 10 games, beginning with a Tuesday visit from Grace.