No. 5-ranked Berry rallied back in each game of its softball doubleheader at Huntingdon Thursday afternoon to take late leads, but the lead would only hold up for a victory in the second game as the Vikings split a doubleheader on the road.
Game 1: Huntingdon 3, Berry 2
The Vikings had trouble getting going offensively, leaving seven runners on base through six innings and trailing 1-0 entering the seventh.
With one gone in the inning, Aleeya Thornton raced into second with a double to put the tying run on base. After a sharp groundout to third for the second out, Sydney Moroney stepped up with the game on the line. The junior sent a shot back up the middle into center, scoring Thornton with the tying run.
Three batters later, with the bases full, Blair Hall would single on the first pitch of her at bat, bringing home Moroney to put Berry ahead 2-1.
The script would be flipped in the bottom of the inning, as the Hawks pulled out the victory. With two out in the inning, a single, a walk, a game-tying single and a walk-off bloop single gave the home side the victory.
The loss for Berry was the second time this season in which the Vikings dropped a game in the opponent's final at-bat.
Game 2: Berry 6, Huntingdon 5 (eight innings)
A three-run fifth inning pushed the Vikings into a 5-5 tie, then a run in the top of the eighth proved to be the difference as the Vikings earned a split in the doubleheader with a win in the nightcap.
Jamie Jang had a big game for the Vikings in the victory. The utility player helped Berry start the scoring in the third when she led off with a triple, then came home on Shelby Daniel's single one batter later. An inning later, Jang would ground out to third, scoring Lauren Cothern to put Berry up 2-0.
Huntingdon (16-4) rallied with five runs in the fifth to take the lead as the Hawks looked to land a stunning knockout blow. Instead, Berry showed the resolve that helped the team to four wins over foes ranked in the NFCA Top 10 this season.
With one out in the sixth, Morgan Frye walked, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball, then scored on Katie Parker's sacrifice fly to right. With two out in the inning, the bottom of the order came through for the Vikings. Cothern doubled, then moved over to third on Thornton's single. Thornton would take second on the play as the throw went all the way home, setting the stage for Jang. The utility player would lace a single back up the middle on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring both runners to tie the game at 5-all.
The score stayed the same until the eighth, with the International Tiebreaker Rule in effect as the game began its extra inning stage. Elly Bennett started on second, then advanced to third with one out as a wild pitch went back to the backstop. Parker would then lift another sacrifice fly to right, allowing Bennett to come home and putting Berry on top, 6-5.
Berry's defense would help the Vikings get the win in the bottom of the inning. With a runner on third and one out, a bouncer to Cothern at second took a nasty hop and briefly got away. The Hawks' runner on third attempted to come home on the bobble, but Cothern quickly regathered and fired a strike to Anna Jackson at the plate to gun down the would-be tying run.
The next batter would line out to Daniel at short, and the Vikings (15-4) had the comeback victory.
Danielle Sudick (2-0) picked up the win for the Vikings. While two inherited runners came into score in the fifth, Sudick was otherwise sharp, allowing just three hits and a walk with one strikeout.
Berry will be back in action on the road with a Southern Athletic Association doubleheader at Centre this Saturday starting at noon.