Meadville, Pa. – The Wittenberg University softball record book has a new all-team career home run leader. Senior Abby Curnutte launched her 17th homer in the first inning of Wittenberg's game one win over Allegheny, taking down the Gators 9-1 in five innings. Game two of the doubleheader series was called due to darkness and weather as the game ended in a tie at 8-8. Wittenberg collected 26 hits on the day, while Elise Freeland 5 for 8 in the leadoff spot, scoring five runs with one run batted in. Curnutte finished game one 2 for 2 from the plate while Hawkins closed out the series going 3 for 3 from the dish.
Game One Breakdown
Wittenberg jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, coming off the three-run Curnutte homer in the top of the first. After Allegheny was able to take run back in the bottom half of the inning, making it a 3-1 game. The Tigers responded with two runs in the top of the second, starting with a Freeland RBI double to right center. Brianna Gibson followed up with an RBI bunt single back to the pitcher, forcing the Allegheny throwing error and bringing home Freeland. Wittenberg piled onto their lead with a three-run third inning, as Curnutte reached on the Gator throwing error and Lee came home to score the sixth Tiger run. Megan Niswonger reached on the second Allegheny error of the inning after executing the sacrifice bunt and bringing around Curnutte for another Wittenberg run. Gibson capped off the Tiger rally with a single down the right field line, to bring home Niswonger, taking the Wittenberg advantage out to 8-1. Nikki Hawkins put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth, reaching on the fielder's choice, while Elaina Adams crossed for the ninth Tiger run.
Katelyn Niswonger tossed five innings of three-hit one-run ball while striking out three.
Game Two Breakdown
Wittenberg jumped out to an early lead in game two, posting two runs in the first inning. Curnutte got the scoring started again for the Red and White with an RBI bunt single to bring in Freeland. Clara Andersen followed up with an RBI single to right field later in the inning to bring around Curnutte for the second Wittenberg run. Hawkins added to the Tiger lead with a single through the right side, giving Wittenberg the 3-0 advantage. Allegheny put their first run on the board in the bottom of the third inning, cutting the Tiger lead to two. Wittenberg posted a run in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning of action, taking their advantage out to 8-1. A late rally by Allegheny through the sixth and seventh innings brought the game back to even at 8-8, before the game was called due to weather and darkness.
Wittenberg will return home on Saturday, April 27 to celebrate Senior Day and welcome back Tiger alumni as they host Denison for a doubleheader. First pitch of the series is set for 1:00 PM.