The Lake Forest College softball team split a doubleheader with visiting Carthage College on Wednesday, falling 7-0 in the opener before posting a 15-14 walk-off victory in game two. Freshman shortstop Sam Ritsema had six base hits on the day, including a home run.
Ritsema had two of the Foresters' six base hits in game one. The home team had a runner on base in all but the final inning but was unable to score. Carthage plated one in each of the first two innings, two in the third, and three in the sixth.
Game two could not have started any better for the Foresters. After a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Lake Forest scored its first run of the day when Ritsema led off the bottom of the frame with her third home run of the season. Sophomore right fielder Ashley Cuthbert followed with a double and sophomore third baseman Aubrey Pendegraft belted her second homer of the year to put the home team ahead 3-0 and chase the Carthage starting pitcher. After an error, two singles, and freshman designated player Clare Kavanagh's first career home run, the home team finally made its first out of the game. Junior catcher Danielle Gore then doubled and the Lady Reds brought in their game one pitcher, who surrendered four more base hits by the time the 11-run inning was over. Ritsema, Cuthbert, and junior second baseman Leslie Harshey each had a pair of base hits in the inning.
Carthage, however, would chip away at the lead with two runs in both the second and third innings, three in the fourth, and one in the fifth to make the score 11-8.
The Foresters finally scored again in the bottom of the fifth. With a runner on second and one out, Ritsema singled through the right side of the infield. She then advanced to third on Cuthbert's RBI-bunt single and scored on a bunt by Pendegraft, making the score 13-8.
The Lady Reds completed their comeback with a five-run sixth inning and the game was tied at 13 going into the seventh.
After Carthage took its first lead of the game in the top of the final inning, it was Lake Forest's turn to come back. Gore singled down the right field line with one out and was replaced by freshman pinch-runner Sammie Zender, who stole second base. Ritsema lined a single to center and, despite Zender staying at third base, advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Cuthbert then squared to bunt in Zender but a wild pitch accomplished the task instead and moved Ritsema to third with one out. With the infield and outfield playing in, Cuthbert lined a base hit down the left field line to score Ritsema with the winning run.
Ritsema and Cuthbert were each 4-for-5 in the game and Harshey and Gore chipped in with two base hits apiece. Pendegraft drove in four runs and Kavanagh three. Just two of the seven runs allowed by junior pitcher Cami Daun in three-and-a-third innings of relief were earned and she picked up the victory to improve to 2-3 on the year.
The doubleheader split left Lake Forest at 4-8 and Carthage at 7-9 on the season. The Foresters will host the University of Chicago on Saturday and Robert Morris University on Sunday with both doubleheaders beginning at 1:00 p.m.