TUCSON, Ariz. --- The No. 17 Moravian College softball team split two games for the second straight day at the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Arizona as the Greyhounds fell to Wittenberg (Ohio) University, 19-3 in five innings, before bouncing back with a 7-5 victory over the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In the opening game of the day, Wittenberg jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning with four unearned runs. Moravian answered back with a run in the bottom half of the frame when freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr led off the inning with a solo home run, her second homer of the season.
The Tigers would add four more unearned runs in the top of the second inning for an 8-1 lead. Wehr then connected on another solo home run, her third if the tournament, to lead off the bottom half of the third frame.
Wittenberg tacked on seven more runs in the top of the fourth to extend the advantage to 15-2, and the Tigers score four times in the top of the fifth for a 19-2 edge. Moravian added one run in the bottom of the fifth before the game ended on the NCAA eight-run rule. Freshman pinch hitter Maura Kane connected on an RBI single to score senior outfielder Jackie Marshall.
The Greyhounds had just four hits in the contest with Wehr going 2-for-3 with two home runs. The Blue and Grey used three pitchers with senior Amanda Carisone making the start and allowing nine runs, three earned, on seven hits and two walks in two innings of action. Sophomore Paige Lesher tossed two innings and allowed ten runs, five earned, on eight hits and a walk to go with one strikeout while freshman Meghan Bauer pitched the final inning an allowed a hit and a walk.
Against MIT, Moravian jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Wehr reached on a wild pitch and came around to score on an RBI single by senior catcher Janae Matos. Junior shortstop Julia DeMarco, who had doubled to put Wehr in scoring position, would race home when senior first baseman Jean Markovic reached on an error. Freshman designated player Shannon Brogan connected on an RBI single that scored junior left fielder Kat Spilman, who had reached base on a fielder's choice.
The Engineers answered with a run in the home half of the first inning to cut the Hounds' lead to 3-1, and MIT scored another run on the bottom of the third to pull within 3-2.
The Greyhounds added two runs in the top of the fifth inning to push the lead to 5-2. Markovic and freshman third baseman Maddisen Bieber each drew two-out walks before Brogan connected on an RBI single to right field to score Markovic. Junior Madison Shaneberger came on as a pinch hitter and connected on an RBI single down the left field line as Bieber raced home.
MIT answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a one-run game again with the Blue and Grey up 5-4.
In the top of the sixth, Wehr led off with a single and Matos would draw a walk. After Marshall came in to run for Matos, Markovic ripped a two-RBI triple down the right field line as Wehr and Marshall scored to give Moravian a 7-4 lead. The Engineers scored once in the bottom of the sixth to make a 7-5 contest.
The Hounds had nine hits in the second game with Brogan going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Wehr posting a 2-for-5 game with a pair of runs scored.
Senior Josie Novak earned her first win of the season in the circle for Moravian, allowing five runs, four earned, on 13 hits and a walk to go with seven strikeouts.
The Greyhounds are slated to finish the 2018 NFCA DIII Leadoff Classic on Sunday, March 4 with games versus The University of St. Thomas (Minn.) at 4:00 p.m. and Coe (Iowa) College at 6:30 p.m. EST.