Furrow heroics push HU women to softball split

Strong pitching and hitting by Camille Furrow led the Huntington University softball team to a 5-3 win over Valley City State University on Wednesday, March 15, at the Tucson Invitational Games.

The Foresters’ second game of the day, against Purdue University Northwest, saw the team fall in nine innings, 8-7, to finish its spring break trip with a 4-4 record.

Huntington, 5-4 overall, got a home run and three runs batted in from Furrow in the VCSU tilt. After Audra Klopfenstein singled home Natalie McGuire, who reached base with a walk, to give the Foresters a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, Furrow upped the squad’s advantage to 3-0 with a two-run dinger in the fifth that plated Casey Lehman, who earlier drew a walk.

Although VCSU managed to knot the game up an inning later, Huntington broke the deadlock in the seventh. Joelle Beals kicked off the frame with a double, then advanced to third with a steal. Following a groundout by McGuire, Lehman smacked a two-bagger, scoring Beals. Lehman then proceed to third after a double by Klopfenstein and came home on a sacrifice fly by Furrow.

In the bottom of the frame, Furrow yielded just a hit while fanning her third batter of the game to make the lead stick.

Furrow, a freshman, went the distance in the circle, permitting nine hits and three earned runs while issuing no walks to notch her fourth win in five outings.

The Foresters finished with six hits, accounting for half that total against the Vikings’ Ashley Metcalf. The hurler surrendered the three base pokes, plus two earned runs, in the final frame to sustain the loss.

Cassie Pautz paced VCSU, 11-13, with three hits.

The second game was a back-and-forth affair, with the lead changing three times in the first six innings before Purdue Northwest managed to tie things up at 5-5 by the close of regulation. Huntington took a 6-5 lead in the eighth on a sac fly by Abby Keaffaber that scored Marty Harris, who was placed on second base to begin the frame, in accordance with extra-inning rules. Although the Pride successfully forged another deadlock in their half of the inning, the Foresters went up once again in the ninth. McGuire, Huntington’s second-base runner, took third on a passed ball, then came home on sac bunt by Lehman.

Purdue Northwest had the final cheer, though, with Taylor Kotzo singling home second-base runner Allyson Leach to knot the game up. Following an error than enabled Kotzo to take third, Holly Pagan smacked a one-bagger that plated her for the game-winning run.

Huntington finished with nine hits. Lehman logged two base pokes and three RBI while McGuire produced one hit and two RBI, with two runs scored. Klopfenstein matched Lehman’s hit production.

Lairen Miller took the loss for the Foresters. The freshman, 1-3, allowed 12 hits and eight runs, five of which were earned, in 8.2 innings. She struck out three and walked one.

Kyleigh Payne had the big bat for the Pride, registering four hits, one of which was a homer, and three RBI.

That production helped support Pagan, who picked up the win for Purdue Northwest, 10-6. The hurler allowed nine base pokes and six runs, half of which were earned, in eight frames. She also walked three and fanned two.