The Siena Heights Softball Team opened their 2017 campaign with two wins, defeating Mount Vernon Nazarene 5-2, and then Indiana Wesleyan in nine innings by a score of 5-4.
In game one, the Saints found themselves down 1-0 after one inning. A three run third inning was all the runs they would need, however, they built their lead to 5-1 with solo runs in the fifth and seventh inning before allowing a run in the bottom of the 7th prior to the game ending at 5-2.
Hailey Fox was the spark plug of the three run third inning, notching the Saints first hit of the season. Fox's single was followed by a Kyndle Wolfinger single. Kenya Keller followed that up with a single of her own, driving in Fox. Megan Jones doubled in Wolfinger and Keller to give the Saints the lead. Kris Forest knocked in Fox in the fifth with a RBI single, and the Saints final run came when Lexi Agers scored on a wild pitch.
For the game, Fox was 2-2 with two runs scored, while Wolfinger, Keller, Forest, Jones and Agers had the Saints other hits and the above mentioned RBI. Lesley Ducat was on the mound throwing the complete game. She allowed one earned run while allowing six hits and striking out five.
In game two, the Saints took on Indiana Wesleyan, who starts the season ranked just outside the top 25, sitting at #26 in the opening season poll. The Saints took an early lead, scoring a run in the first when Wolfinger started off the inning with a single - Keller knocked her in with an RBI double. The Wildcats took the lead with two unearned runs in the third inning. Forest blasted a homerun to tie the game in the bottom of the third.
After three more scoreless innings, Indiana Wesleyan scored two runs in the top of the 7th to take the lead. The bottom of the 7th started off with a Hannah Bleikamp single. After a ground out, Wolfinger singled to put runners on 1st and 3rd. Keller knocked a ground rule double to plate Bleikamp. Forest followed with an RBI single to tie the game at four.
In the eighth the game went to the international tie breaker and started the ining with a runner on second base. Neither team could push across a run in the eighth. The top of the 9th saw the Wildcats move the runner to third with one out, but a foul pop up and a line out ended the threat.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Saints started the inning with Fox on second base. Wolfinger knotched her fourth hit of the game advancing Fox to third. Keller stepped up and drove a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly ending the game for the walk off win.
On the mound, Lindsay Brandon threw the complete game in her first collegiate start and first game. She allowed only seven hits and two earned runs while striking out nine.
The Saints start the season 2-0 and return to action tomorrow when the face Fisher and Bellevue.