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2013-05-14 Olivet struggles offensively at NAIA Opening Round
2013-05-14 Olivet struggles offensively at NAIA Opening Round

Olivet struggles offensively in NAIA Opening Round

Author: Wendy Reid
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM
 CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Day two at the NAIA Opening Round did not turn out quite as the No. 14 Olivet Nazarene University softball team had planned. The Tigers opened the day with No. 3 Lee University (Tenn.) and came away a 8-1 loss, dropping them into the losers bracket. Only one team will advance to the NAIA World Series in Columbus, Ga. from each host site, so now the Tigers have their work cut out for them.

Olivet (48-8) snapped back in game two to beat Bethel College (Ind.) 7-2 to get another shot at Lee. The Tigers will need to upset the host team twice to keep their season alive.

In the opener, Olivet struggled offensively all game. The Tigers finished with just six hits, well below the nearly 10 they average per game. Sophomore Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) connected for two hits. Junior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.) was hitless in the game, for the first time since March 30. Gardner’s hit streak came to an end at an NAIA record 33-games. With a walk, however, she did continue her reached base streak which now stands at 60-games.

Junior Caitlin Santefort (Mokena, Ill.) got roughed up in the circle, giving up 10 hits in 4.1 innings. She allowed seven runs, recording no strikeouts and allowing three walks. Junior Virginia McAndrews (Wheaton, Ill.) pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing five hits and one run.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead against Bethel, posting two runs in the top of the first inning. Gardner wasted little time getting back into the swing of things, finishing the game 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Tatum and freshman Katie Megyesi (Washington, Ill.) each added doubles.

Sophomore Lindsay Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) improved to 17-1 on the season, pitching five inning. She allowed two runs on five hits, striking out nine and walking just one. McAndrews threw 1.1 innings in relief, allowing just one hit while striking out one and walking two. Santefort come in to record the final out, striking out the only batter she faced.

The Tigers will face Lee University at 1:00 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, May 15. Should the Tigers win the two team will face-off again at 3 in an "if necessary" game. The winner will advance to the 33rd Annual Softball National Championship at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Ga. from May 24-30, 2013.