By: Andrew Korba
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Hiram College softball team opened the 2015 season with a pair of setbacks against No. 8 Illinois Wesleyan and No. 25 Simpson (Iowa) at the Rebel Spring Games on Sunday afternoon.
In the opener against Illinois Wesleyan (3-0), the Terriers fell 9-1 in six innings.
The Titans plated two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.
Hiram answered with a run in the third inning, on a bases loaded walk by junior Danielle Latine (Eastlake/North).
Illinois Wesleyan would score three times in the third, one in the fifth and three more times in the sixth for the win.
Junior Megan Garland (Mineral Ridge) struck out a batter in 5.2 innings of work. Sophomore Emily Syrjala (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep) paced the Terriers with two hits in the contest.
Against Simpson (11-0), the Terriers trailed 5-0 entering the bottom of the seventh before putting together a rally.
Latine and sophomore Dana Perrotta (New Castle, Pa.) eached reached on an error.
Syrjala followed with a single to load the bases and junior Jessica Wahl (Akron/Ellet) would hit a sac fly to score Latine and get Hiram on the board.
After senior Miranda Wright (Richfield/Revere) was hit by a pitch, sophomore Brittany Zajac (Corry, Pa.) singled to score Perrotta. But the Storm would turn a double play to record the final two outs of the game and pick up the 5-2 victory.
Zajac fired a complete game, giving up two earned runs and striking out two batters. She also collected two hits in the game.
Hiram will continue play in Florida on Monday with another double header. The Terriers will take on Carroll (Wis.) at 2:30 p.m. and Albion (Mich.) at 4:45.