ALLIANCE, Ohio - The Mount Union softball team split a pair of games in their home-opening doubleheader against Hiram (5-9) Monday afternoon at 23rd Street Field.
In game one, the Purple Raiders (7-9) scored early as lead-off batter Brooklyn Hellman (Canton/Jackson) walked in her first at-bat and was then moved around the bases off a sacrifice bunt from Brittany Baitt (Painesville/Riverside) and back-to-back wild pitches, eventually making it home to score making it 1-0.
Hiram kept Mount Union off the board for three innings and was able to collect two runs of their own to lead 2-1 after four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Emily Hume (Minerva/Minerva) doubled to deep left field which sent Maddie Pidgeon (Salem/West Branch), who had been on base with a lead-off single, home to tie the game at 2-2. Back to the top of the order, Hellman got on base with hit to left-center field, but pop-up by Baitt left Hellman along with Hume on base to end the inning.
Struggling to score, Hiram did not get a single hit in the sixth and then failed to bring runners home in the seventh.
Much like the fifth inning, Pidgeon was able to get on base with a lead-off walk, then advanced to second base off a bunt from Jordan Tull (Brewster/Fairless). Another bunt, this time a sacrifice from Cheyenne Miller (Salem/West Branch), sent Pidgeon to third and Tull to second with Hume up to bat. With one out and a full count, Hume grounded out to shortstop but the throw was delayed just enough for Pidgeon to score the winning run, 3-2.
Hannah Reusser (Minerva/Minerva) would get the win at pitcher to make her record 5-4 after seven innings pitched, with eight hits, two runs and a strikeout.
Despite no score after the first inning of game two, Mount Union was still able to strike first with an RBI single to right field from Shelby Vansickle (Loudonville/Loudonville), scoring Jordan Kramer (Mentor/Mentor).
After holding on to a 1-0 lead, Mount Union trailed 2-1 as Hiram batted in two runs off long singles to the outfield in bottom of the fifth.
The Raiders were able to answer right back in the bottom half of the inning, tallying two more runs, to take the lead again at 3-2 with from a sacrifice fly from Morgan Riley (Charleroi, Pa./Charleroi) and another RBI single from Miller.
Top of the seventh, Hiram was able to score the tying run off an error to send the game into an extra innings.
Using the international tie breaker, Hiram's runner on second scored on back-to-back singles that shot trough gaps in the infield. Down 4-3, Mount Union still had a chance to score with their half of the eighth inning.
With Jenna Liles (Sterling/Norwayne) on second, Mount Union's first pair of batters combined for a groundout and a strikeout. At bat with two outs, Kramer reached first base by walk. In an attempt to get two runners in scoring position, Kramer was caught stealing at second base; Mount Union losing by a final score of 4-3.
In her sixth start in the circle, Jordan Tull (1-4) received the loss giving up three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts.
Mount Union will stay home and host Case Western Reserve on Wednesday, March 21 in a 3:00/5:00 p.m. doubleheader.