No. 2 Marian Stifles Trojans’ Upset Bids
UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor held leads of 2-1 in game one and 5-2 in game two over second-ranked Marian on Friday night, but TU could not finish the deal in either contest, falling 4-2 and 7-6 to MU under the lights at Gudakunst Field.
Lauren Kanai put the Trojans on the board first in game one, roping an RBI double to deep right-center to give TU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
A pair of doubles from the Knights (41-3, 30-2 CL) in the third knotted the game at 1-1, but Taylor answered with another run in the fifth to regain the lead. Davis Carter doubled with two outs and Kanai followed with a single that scored Carter for the go-ahead run.
However, MU opened the fifth with three-straight singles and took advantage of a fielding error by the Trojans to plate three runs and take a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
Taylor did not record a single hit in its final three frames at the plate, and Marian secured the 4-2 win to open the doubleheader.
Kanai recorded two of TU’s three hits in the contest, while also driving in both runs to lead the offense.
The Knights struck first in game two with two runs in the top of the third, but Taylor responded with three runs of its own in the next half inning to quickly establish a 3-2 advantage. Cassie Kuizin and Courtney Moriarty both produced RBI singles and Olivia Hostetler stole home after the MU catcher threw to second to try to negate Kuizin’s stolen base attempt.
Kanai and Taylor Wilson singled on back-to-back at-bats with one out in the fourth, and Erin Cozad’s sacrifice bunt moved Kanai and Wilson to second and third with two outs. Hostetler then came through with a two-run double to give the Trojans a 5-2 edge with three innings remaining.
Marian plated four runs over the fifth and sixth innings, aided by three TU errors, to put the Purple and Gold in a 6-5 deficit.
A triple and a single with two outs in the seventh put the Knights in front, 7-5, with Taylor down to its final three outs.
Kara Tucker reached on an error and moved to second on Moriarty’s groundout, before Hannah Castor’s single scored Tucker to pull TU to within one with the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate. Carter singled to put the winning run on first, but Marian put in its starting pitcher from game one, who held TU to three hits in that contest, and she retired the final two Trojans to close the door on Taylor’s upset bid.
Carter collected four hits in five at-bats on the day, while Wilson and Hostetler each notched two hits in the game two loss. Hostetler also chipped in two runs batted in.
Taylor (26-12, 20-10 CL) will host Mount Vernon Nazarene (23-17-1, 15-13-1 CL) on Saturday in its final regular-season doubleheader, with the first pitch set for 1:00 pm at Gudakunst Field. Saturday is also Senior Day, as TU will honor its two seniors, Carter and Kuizin, between the two contests.