LIVONIA, Mich.- The 25th-ranked Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University softball team split the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference opening doubleheader against Madonna (Mich.) University at the Crusaders' University Center in Livonia on Wednesday, March 27. LTU won the first game, 6-2, and fell 4-2 in the second game.
Alexa Cherney toed the rubber for the first four-and-a-third innings of the matchup in which she allowed two earned runs off seven hits and one walk. Cherney struck out seven of the 20 batters she faced. Sydney Schultz pitched in relief of Cherney for two and two-third innings. Schultz sat down three batters of the 12 she faced and allowed two hits and no runs.
Sarah Hige and Meredith Adams led the Blue Devils as they combined for four runs. Andra Malburg and Katie Cyster contributed with one run each. Lawrence Tech (19-3, 1-1) outhit Madonna (17-9, 1-1), 13-12, paced by Cyster as she went 3-for-4 from the plate.
The Blue Devils had a hot start as Cyster scored the first run for LTU off a double by Adams at the top of the first inning. An error by the Crusaders' shortstop led Adams to push Lawrence Tech's lead to 2-0. The Crusaders chipped away the disadvantage to one in the third inning with a run by Becky Giacobbi. Hige scored off a single by Adams in the fourth inning for the 3-1. However, Madonna scored a run in the bottom of the inning to set the deficit to one. The Blue Devils struck back in the sixth inning with three runs. Schultz shut down the Crusaders in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to hold on to a 6-2 win.
In the second game, Brittney Bult started on the circle. Over the four-and-a-third innings she pitched, Bult allowed two runs off three hits and one walk. Bult sat down one of the 18 batters she faced. Schultz pitched for one-and-two-thirds innings in which she surrendered two runs off three hits and no walks.
Adams and Malburg scored the Blue Devil runs, both driven in by Brittany Wieland. Lawrence Tech collected eight hits, paced by Malburg and Wieland with two hits off three at-bases. Jackie Mattingly led the defensive line with four putouts.
Lawrence Tech took an early lead in the first inning when Adams scored off a single by Wieland and the Crusaders tied the game at the bottom of the inning. The same happened in the third inning when LTU took a momentary lead for the second time, just to have Madonna tie the game once again. The Crusaders scored two runs in the fifth inning to seal the victory.
The Blue Devils will be back in action on Friday, March 29 when they face Cleary (Mich.) University in WHAC action at UD-Mercy. The first game of the doubleheader is set to start at 1:00 p.m.