UPLAND, Ind. — Brianna Sherman hit her first career home run in the third inning of a Crossroads League softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon, but it would be the only run for the Goshen College softball team as Taylor University swept the Maple Leafs 5-1 and 8-0.
The Trojans (27-12, 19-5) left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first; after falling behind 1-0 on Sherman's jack and recording one out in the bottom of the inning, Taylor scored three times in the frame and never trailed again. Six consecutive batters reached base or sacrificed before Goshen pitcher Alexis Carpenter got a popup to end the inning.
Goshen (9-21, 6-18) put the tying run on base in the fourth after back-to-back singles from Brooke Maes and Sandra Rodriguez, but a popout-strikeout finish to the inning left Taylor in front 3-1.
Taylor scored its last two runs in the fifth after a leadoff single from Cassie Kuizin and a two-out Courtney Moriarty double. Also the starting pitcher, Moriarty set down the last six Maple Leafs in order for the complete-game win. She allowed five hits and struck out seven without walking a batter.
Carpenter gave up four earned runs and walked two in the loss. Sherman finished 2 for 3 to lead Goshen offensively with three of her teammates adding singles and two chipping in sacrifice bunts.
Kuizin, Anna Gunderson and Hannah Castor each rapped hits for TU, which totaled 10 safeties. Moriarty led the team with two RBI and the lone Trojan extra-base knock.
Hannah Robbins fired a complete-game, five-inning two-hitter in the nightcap, facing just one batter more than the minimum. Davis Carter gave Taylor a 3-0 lead with a three-run homer in the first inning and the Trojans would finish with nine hits in the second game.
The hosts added a run in the third when leadoff batter Alex Lovelace started the inning with a triple into the right-field corner, scoring a batter later on a Gunderson sacrifice fly.
Five hits would bring in the four fourth-inning tallies, with three straight singles sandwiched around a popout scoring the first run before Gunderson doubled in two and scored on a single by Kuizin.
Lovelace and Gunderson were the only players on either side to finish with multiple hits or runs; both players had two of each. Gunderson and Carter each drove in a game-high three runs. Sherman and Maes posted GC hits.
The doubleheader lasted two hours and 48 minutes from start to finish, leaving enough time that the two teams could have played twice more before Goshen's baseball twinbill at Indiana Wesleyan—which had started at the same time just 12 miles away—came to an end.
Saturday's games concluded a 10-game road trip for the Maple Leafs, who close the regular season by playing six of their final 10 contests at home. Goshen sits in ninth place in the 10-team conference and will need to win at least once to overtake Mount Vernon Nazarene for the final conference tournament berth. The Cougars lead GC by one game, but would need to have two of their final 12 games canceled to end in a flat-footed tie.
Goshen hosts Grace in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Tuesday.