OBERLIN, OHIO -- Senior All-Region outfielder Kristen Cooney (North Lewisburg/Triad) and sophomore outfielder Jessica Bolanz (Randolph/Waterloo) both hit two homeruns on the day as the Hiram College softball team won a pair of close games against Oberlin College in a North Coast Athletic Conference doubleheader at Culhane Field in Oberlin. The Terriers defeated the Yeowomen, 10-8, in game one and 7-6 in game two.
Following today's action, Hiram improves to 18-14 overall and 8-4 in the NCAC. Oberlin falls to 12-22 overall and 2-8 NCAC.
In game one, Oberlin led 4-0 after three innings of play, but Hiram then scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning highlighted by a RBI-triple by freshman pitcher Taylor Charles (Akron/Ellet) as the Terriers pulled to within a run, 4-3. Hiram took the lead the very next inning with three more scores to make the score 6-4. The Yeowomen came right back to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of runs, but the Terriers regained the lead in the sixth with two runs of their own thanks to a two-run homerun by Cooney to make the score 8-6. Oberlin answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth to narrow the gap to 8-7. Hiram got some breathing room in the seventh with Bolanz's first homerun of the day, a two-run shot, to extend the lead to 10-7. Oberlin looked to rally one more time in its final at-bats scoring a run, but it would come with two outs. Following the score, Hiram got the Yeowomen to ground out into the final out with a runner on base to hang on for the 10-8 final.
Hiram had 10 hits in the game, led by Cooney, Charles and freshman designated hitter Taylor Petersal (Warren/Champion) who all finished with a pair of hits. Cooney ended the game two-of-four with two runs scored and two RBI. Charles also finished two-of-four and scored two runs in addition to a RBI. Petersal rounded out the two-for-four efforts at the plate to go along with a run scored and a RBI. Bolanz was one of four other Hiram players to record a base hit in the game and finished one-of-four overall with a run scored and a team-high three RBI.
On the mound, Charles pitched her 12th complete game of the season and got her 11th win to improve to 11-6 overall. In seven innings, she allowed eight runs on 12 hits and struck out two batters.
In game two, Hiram struck first with two runs in the top of the first inning on Cooney's second homerun of the day, this time a solo shot, and a RBI double by Bolanz. The lead didn't last long as Oberlin evened the score at 2-2 in the second on a two-run homerun. Both teams traded runs in the fourth, but Hiram tallied runs in the fifth and sixth innings, including Bolanz's second homer of the day to lead off the fifth, as the Terriers grabbed a 5-3 advantage. The Yeowomen crossed the plate three times in the bottom of the sixth to move ahead on the scoreboard, 6-5, going into the final inning of regulation. Hiram rallied in the top half of the inning scoring runs on a RBI single by senior All-Region first baseman Alee Singer (Akron/Dayton) and senior third baseman Ashley Pike (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) to put the Terriers on top, 7-6. Oberlin got the tying run on base in its half of the inning, but would not cross homeplate as Hiram went on to claim the 7-6 victory.
The Terriers posted 12 hits in the nightcap with Bolanz and sophomore outfielder Sarah Loyer (Barrie, Ont./St. Joseph's) leading the way with three hits each. Bolanz finished three-of-four with a run scored and two RBI. Loyer went three-of-four at the plate and scored a run. In addition, six other Hiram players each recorded a base hit in the win.
On the hill, junior Ashley Hinkle (Parma) got the start and pitched five complete innings allowing six runs on six hits. She also received the win and improves to 3-2 for the season. Senior Amethyst Brigham (Middlefield) and Charles each pitched an inning of relief with Charles pitching the final inning to post the save, her team-leading second of the season.
Hiram is scheduled to return to the field tomorrow (Sunday, Apr. 22) to host Case in a non-conference doubleheader at Myrtis E. Herndon Field. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.