No. 2 UIndy Takes Pair From Panthers Softball

Rebekha Lucas
Rebekha Lucas

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Indianapolis softball team lived up to its national billing Thursday afternoon as the second-ranked Greyhounds took two road wins from Ohio Dominican by the finals of 3-1 and 8-1 in a battle of GLIAC and GLVC leaders at Panther Field.

UIndy, ranked No. 2 in the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 softball poll, extended its program-record win-streak to 24 games, improving to 28-1 overall and 10-1 on the road, while ODU dropped to 12-14 with its fourth straight setback and 8-2 at home.

The Panthers stood toe-to-toe with the Greyhounds over the first four innings of game one as freshman pitcher Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, TX) surrendered only two base hits during the stretch. Back-to-back singles to open the fifth put runners on first and second for UIndy. The Greyhounds then loaded the bases in the next at-bat as ODU was the non-beneficiary of a bang-bang play at shortstop. An RBI-groundout to second, a Panthers' fielding error and a two-run single ensued for the 3-0 UIndy advantage. 

ODU got on the board with a run in the sixth as sophomore Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, WV) walked and eventually came around to score as senior Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH),  Stanzel and sophomore Rebekha Lucas (Laurelville, OH) all collected base hits. However, that would be all for ODU as reigning two-time GLVC Pitcher of the Week Jennifer DeMotte retired the Panthers in order in the seventh for win number 19 on the season.

Missed opportunities haunted the Panthers throughout the opener as ODU stranded eight baserunners, including a bases loaded second inning and one at third base with one out in the fifth following Lucas' lead-off double to left. 

In the nightcap, the Greyhounds took control early with a four-run second inning on a trio of hits and an ODU fielding miscue. The Panthers sent a run across in the bottom of the frame as Jividen reached on an error by the shortstop then took second on a sacrifice by Sutter, stole third and came home on a fielder's choice bunt from freshman Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, OH).

UIndy tacked on an insurance run in the fifth and three more in the seventh to all, but eliminate the chance for an ODU rally. The Panthers threatened in the sixth thanks to a two-out double to left center by Jividen, an infield single by Sutter and a hit bit pitch to Cribari, yet failed to find the timely hit, leaving the bases loaded for the second time in the afternoon.

Audrey Ernst picked up the game two decision on the rubber for the Greyhounds, allowing just four ODU hits and the unearned run to remain perfect at 9-0 overall. 

The Panthers return to conference play at 1 p.m. this Saturday with a four-game weekend set at South Division foe Wayne State (Mich.). Live stats of both twinbills with the Warriors can be found at http://www.sidearmstats.com/waynestate/softball/scoreboard.aspx.

Contact: Bryan Desch
deschb@ohiodominican.edu