MONTGOMERY, Alabama - For the third season in a row the Mount St. Joseph University softball team traveled south the Montgomery, Ala. to open the season. For the second season in a row the participants for the weekends festivities along with The Mount are the University of Dallas, and the host Huntingdon College.
Game one for the Lions saw them square off with the Crusaders of The University of Dallas. The Mount sent senior Brianna Kauf (Orrville, Ohio/Orrville) to the mound to open the 2018-19 season. Kauf delivered an outstanding outing for the Lions, going 6.0 innings allowing only three Crusaders to reach base. She turned the ball over to freshman Kamryn McCool (Brookville, Ind./Franklin Co.) in the top of the 7th inning with a 2-1 lead. McCool walked the first batter she faced, before giving up a go ahead two-run homerun. She would settle down from there though retiring the next three batters she faced.
The teams were both scoreless through the first five innings. The Lions found the scoreboard first in the bottom of the sixth inning. Brooke Otto (Brookeville, Ind./Franklin Co.) led off the inning with a double up the middle. After a groundout from Savannah Sturgill (West Harrison, Ind./East Central) moved Otto over to third with one out. The Lions first RBI of the season came via a Sarah Miller (Fischers, Ind./St. Theodore Guerin) sac fly.
The Crusaders came back with two in the top of the seventh to take the 2-1 lead. With the Lions down to their final three outs, it was time to turn up the offensive production. Katie Tarter (Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield)led off the bottom of the seventh with a basehit through the left side. The Lions quickly sacrificed Tarter into scoring position. Freshman Alaina Maddy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest) was brought off the bench to pinch hit, she reached base via a hit by pitch. Alehia Tucker (Covington, Ky./Holy Cross) then grounded out to second base, advancing the runners to second and third with two outs. Otto walked to load the bases setting the Lions three and four hole batters up with a shot to win the game. Sturgill was hit by a pitch, which forced in the tying run. Miller then stepped to the plate and drilled a walkoff RBI single through the left side giving the Lions the 3-2 win.