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Thursday March 21, 2019
THE HEAT IS ON: Bay Softball Wins Two Of Three

TITUSVILLE, Fla.---The Bay College women's softball team spent ten hours at the softball field on Monday as the team's first-ever Florida trip continued, and it was a productive day as the Norse won two of the three games they played.

And the third game of the tripleheader couldn't be decided in the seven innings that were scheduled, so the Norse had to play their first-ever extra inning game.

Despite 85-degree heat and a very small strike zone, the Norse were able to pull out a 10-6 win over Central Lakes (Minn.) College in eight innings.

This came after a 17-6 win over Owens (Ohio) Community College that took nearly three hours to play.

The day started with another "first" for the Norse: a loss. Bay faced Lewis & Clark (Illinois) Community College, and couldn't get much accomplished. The Norse managed only two base hits and gave up two home runs in a 9-1 loss to the Trailblazers.

The only Norse run came when Emily Bruntjens got a pop fly double to left field and scored on a double by Kaitlyn Hardwick. The only other baserunner was Aubree Saunders, who was hit by a pitch in the early innings. Rhiley Hubert threw the first three innings and Lexi Winling tossed the final three, with Hubert taking the loss.

The day's second game saw the Norse fall behind the Owens Express, 3-0, in the first inning before Hardwick took over at the plate. Her bases-clearing triple highlighted a five-run second inning that also included a pair of bases-loaded walks to Olivia Capodilupo and Emily LaFave. But the triple was just the beginning for Hardwick.

Before this game was over, Hardwick added an RBI groundout and a two-run double, following up Saturday's seven base hits in a doubleheader sweep over Itasca (Minn.).

Hardwick wasn't alone. Jerrika McAlpine added four hits and two runs batted in, and Richelle Vandeville added two RBI on a single and groundout. Claire McInerney had three hits and four runs batted in, and Maddy Griffin clubbed a triple to the fence.

Winling pitched the first four innings and Hubert tossed the final three frames.

Biancha Hernandez had three hits, including a two-run double, to lead the Express. 

The third game of the day was a seesaw affair, with the Norse grabbing an early 4-1 lead as Eve LaFleche had an RBI double and a run-scoring sacrafice fly. McInerney added an RBI single and Emily Bruntjens added a pair of bunt singles.

But the Raiders scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-4 lead.

The Norse were down to their final outs in the seventh inning, but Hardwick smacked a double and scored on a LaFleche double that hit off the top of the fence.

With one outm McInerney's squeeze bunt brought LaFleche home with the tying run.

The game went to extra innings, and the international tiebreaker rule was invoked, giving each team a runner on second base to start the inning. Vandeville smacked an RBI single to left field to give the Norse the lead, then with two out, Bruntjens had a solid single to put two on base. Hardwick wasted no time in smashing the first pitch she saw over the center field fence for a three-run homer and a 10-6 Norse lead.

For Hardwick, it was her 15th hit in 20 at-bats in the past two days, and it gave her 18 runs batted in over that five-game period. Bay College (5-1) has an off day Tuesday.

Click the thumbnails in the ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS box above to see videos taken by Brad Landis, along with photos from the morning game. Also, listen to interviews with Hardwick, McAlpine, and Coach Heidi Charon.

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THAT'S A WRAP: Norse Softball Finishes Trip 8-2
Friday March 15, 2019
Norse Softball Sweeps Twinbill; Now 7-1 For Week
Wednesday March 13, 2019
Norse Softball Wins First Three Games In Florida
Saturday March 9, 2019