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(Tucson, Ariz.) After mostcontests were postponed or cancelled on Tuesday due to rainy conditions at the Tucson Invitational, the Golden Eagles started Wednesday morning with games against Olivet Nazarene and Trinity International. Cornerstone lost to the Tigers in the opening game 7-6 but rallied in game two to notch their first win of the season over the Trojans 10-2 in five innings.
With an 8:00AM start time, the Golden Eagles took a few innings to get going in game one as they were playing in Michigan-like temperatures. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead after five innings before CU was able to punch outa hit. Cornerstone broke the hitless trend in the sixth and put up two runs to begin their rally. In the bottom half of the inning, Olivet Nazarene added two of their own to keep their distance. In the topof the seventh, the Golden Eagles trailed 7-2 when they started to make their comeback. Jessica Kuhlman led off the inning with a double to right field followed by a Rachel Gruppen single to center. Dinah Gruppen then walked to load the bases for Victoria Risenhoover who hit a blooper just over second base to score one run. Elayna Citko stepped to the plate with two runners on and slapped a shot passed the left fielder giving Citko enough time to sprint around the base for an inside-the-park home run. That wasas close as the Golden Eagles would come in the 7-6 loss.
Cornerstone carried over their momentum into game two as they scored two runs in the bottom of the first. The Golden Eagles added five more in the fourth and held a 7-2 lead to begin the fifth and final inning. With bases loaded and one out, Tahni Bruno hit a base clearing double to left field to wrap up the mercy victory 10-2. CU finished the game with solid offense and defense recording 10 hits and no errors. Citko, Melanie Creager, Madison Bucilla, and Risenhoover each finished with two hits. Bruno tallied four RBIs while Bucilla added three on a sacrifice fly and triple. Kaycee Kuiper threw for the win, giving up two runs in five innings from the circle.
The Cornerstone softball teamreturned to the ballpark for a 9:00 nightcapand took on Judson Universityand came away with a 13-8 loss.The Golden Eaglesheld the Eagles to six scoreless innings but were not able to overcome the 13 run output they gave up in the third. CU held a 2-0 lead after putting up two runs in the second. Melanie Creager started the scoring, hitting a triple down the left line and crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Madison Bucilla singled and eventually scored on a Rachel Gruppen sacrifice fly to hold the 2-0 lead. In the top of the third, Judson took advantage of three Cornerstone errors and four walks combined with 10 hits of their own to rally for 13 runs and take over the lead for good. The Golden Eagles did not quit, however, as they pushed across five runs in the last three innings to keep the Eagles on their toes. When the game finished at 11:30, CU managed to get the tying run in the on deck circle but were unable to complete the comeback. For Cornerstone, Elayna Citko, Tahni Bruno, Mandee Michielsen, andBucilla each had two hits. Michielsen had two RBIs while Bucilla scored three runs. Kaycee Kuiper came in as relief in the third and gave up only one run while recording six strikeouts in five innings of work. The Golden Eagles (1-8) will return to action on Friday evening when they take on Calumet College of St. Joseph and Peru State at 5:00 and 7:00 PM (MST).