ASHLAND, Ohio - Ohio Dominican's softball team experienced the unpleasant side of retribution as Ashland exacted revenge for Thursday's setbacks with an afternoon sweep of the Panthers by the finals of 5-2 and 4-1 Saturday at Brookside Park.
With the wins, the Eagles improved to 30-8 overall and strengthened their lead in the South Division race, moving three games ahead of the Panthers at 14-4. Meanwhile, ODU dropped to 10-6 in the GLIAC and 16-20 overall.
After two hits put runners in scoring position, Ashland took advantage of a wild pitch for the opening score and a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one. In the top of the second, the Panthers answered with two runs to take their first lead at 2-1. Senior Kylee Crislip (Louisville, OH) led off with a walk and sophomore Danyelle Delligatta (Sidney, OH) followed with a drive to center. Sophomore pinch runner Brittany Seavey (Flint, MI) and Delligatta then pulled off the double steal and after the catcher threw the ball away into left, Seavey was able to scurry home and Delligatta took third. Freshman Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, OH) continued the rally with a textbook squeeze bunt to the left side to score Delligatta.
ODU continued to hold the lead all the way until the bottom of the sixth when the Eagles sent four runs across on three hits, including a three-run homerun that hung on down the left field line. The Panthers missed on a scoring opportunity earlier in the inning as Delligatta and Cribari both singled to the outfield grass and eventually advanced into scoring position with only one out, yet two infield outs to the shortstop nullified the threat.
Ashland ace Emlyn Knerem, the program's all-time winningest pitcher, downed the Panthers in order in the seventh to close the game and pick up her 20th win of the year.
In the series finale, the Eagles built a 3-0 run advantage over the first four frames with a score in each of the first, second, and fourth innings. Even though ODU was striping the ball at the plate for much of the game, it was not until the bottom of the fifth when the Panthers finally broke through. Cribari led off the at-bat with a double to right center and upon advancing to third on a groundout to short, easily made it home on sophomore Rebekha Lucas' (Laurelville, OH) single to left. A fielder's choice and error on the back end of the play left runners at first and third. Sophomore Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, WV) was then grazed on the elbow to load the bases, but a harmless flyout to center closed the at-bat as ODU left the bases full for the second time in the afternoon.
A pair of singles sandwiched around a stolen base resulted in an insurance run in the sixth for Ashland and Knerem, in relief, allowed only two baserunners over the closing two innings for the 4-1 final and series split.
Cribari concluded the afternoon a combined 4-of-6 with the double and one run scored, while Delligatta, senior Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH) and junior Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH) all had a pair of hits to their name.
The Panthers are back in action at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 in their lone home doubleheader contest of the week as South Division foe Lake Erie makes its first visit of the year.
Contact: Bryan Desch