Maple Leaf Offense Overcome By Third-Ranked Marian

Rodriguez, Boyer, Sutliff knock in runs in sweep

GOSHEN, Ind. — The Goshen College softball team played even with the NAIA’s third-ranked squad for about nine innings Friday at the John Ingold Athletic Complex. Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, the doubleheader was 12 innings long as Marian University swept a Crossroads League doubleheader 4-1 and 13-2.

Alexis Carpenter went the distance in the opener, giving up three hits and a walk in the first six innings before the Knights scored three in the seventh inning to break open a 1-1 deadlock in a pitchers’ duel that lasted an hour and 20 minutes on a brisk March afternoon.

Marian’s Mackenzie Reeder posted the only hit of the first three innings, a single with one out in the top of the first, as 16 out of 17 batters were retired early in the game. Carly Greene put an end to that run with a flourish in the top of the fourth, putting the Knights up 1-0 with a solo home run over the center-field wall.

Goshen picked up its first hit off Breena Smith when Katherine Boyer singled with two away in the bottom of the inning, but took a further two innings to level the score. Cassandra Espinoza fired off a one-out double in the sixth and moved to third on a wild pitch, enabling her to score on a Sandra Rodriguez ground ball to first.

MU used a pair of hits along with two sacrifices and a fielding error to score three times in its next turn at bat, adding a run on a wild pitch and the final insurance tally on a squeeze play. Goshen went down without a hit in the bottom of the frame.

Smith finished the game with three hits allowed, no walks and eight strikeouts: all five Knight hits were singles and came from five players. Greene, who drew the game’s lone walk, was the only player with both a hit and a walk.

The Knights did all their scoring in the nightcap in two innings, a five-run first and an eight-run fourth. The opening inning included 10 batters and four hits, while 14 Marian players (including six pinch-hitters) came to bat in the latter.

Goshen scored single runs in the second and third innings, with Taylor Sutliff driving in McKinzi Vega in a second frame that also included a Koteles double: Espinoza reached on an error in the third before scoring on a Boyer single. Koteles singled and Allison White reached on an error in the fourth, but the Maple Leafs were unable to extend the scoring streak.

Koteles, who was 2 for 2, tied for the game high in hits: while the Knights rapped 14, they used 16 batters and three pitchers to achieve that figure. Hoffman, Kassidi Cadle, Maddie Bombei, Mackenzie Reeder and Sidney Gerkin each added two hits for MU: Hoffman, Reeder and Sam Pash all scored twice. Reeder led all players with two runs batted in.

The sweep concludes the Maple Leafs’ schedule for the week, as a Saturday doubleheader at Spring Arbor was postponed later Friday night due to the weather forecast and a desire not to play softball in 42-degree rain and 30-mile-per-hour wind. No makeup date was immediately announced.

Goshen continues a six-game homestand with a doubleheader against local rival Bethel at 3 p.m. Monday.