COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Dominican's softball team cruised to a 9-1, six-inning win in the opener and rallied late in the nightcap, 5-2, for the conference sweep over visiting Lake Erie on a rather brisk Tuesday afternoon at Panther Field.
For archived broadcasts of the games, courtesy of broadcaster Todd Bell, click here.
The wins propelled ODU to 18-20 on the season and to within one game of first-place Ashland in the South Division race at 12-6 after the Eagles dropped a road doubleheader to Wayne State (Mich.) earlier in the day. The Panthers also remained perfect all-time against the Storm, extending their unbeaten to 10 games, while Lake Erie fell to 5-30 and 2-16 in the GLIAC in 2012.
Despite the chillier temperatures, ODU swung the hot bat in the opener, sending across nine runs on 13 hits as four Panthers tallied multi-hit performances and three others accounted for multi-RBI efforts. Junior Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH) led the way going 3-of-4 with a pair of runs scored, while seniors Caitlin Chaney (Newark, OH) and Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH) and sophomore Rebekha Lucas (Laurelville, OH) each collected two hits.
Sophomore Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, WV) and freshman Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, OH) plated three runs apiece and senior Kylee Crislip (Louisville, OH) added two with her first of two homeruns on the day.
The Panthers did not wait long to start the scoring as McCartney led off the first inning with a triple down the left field line and scored on a squeeze bunt by Cribari. Crislip then lifted a 2-0 pitch to opposite field over the scoreboard in right center for the 3-0 lead.
The Storm scored their lone run in the third on a homer to left, however, ODU tacked on three more in the bottom of the frame to push the lead to 6-1 as Jividen brought home Chaney, sophomore Danyelle Delligatta (Sidney, OH) and Sutter, after all reached on singles, with a two-base knock to left center.
In the sixth, the Panthers sent a trio of runs across for the third time, capped by Cribari's second career homerun to left that resulted in the mercy-rule shortened win. A throwing error by the Lake Erie catcher allowed Lucas to score the first run of the frame after she and McCartney got on with a pair of base hits.
With her third straight complete game and 15th overall, freshman Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, OH) nailed down the win in the circle, striking out three and allowing the just the one earned run on five hits to improve her record to 11-8.
ODU struggled to adjust to the slower speeds of Lake Erie's game two starting pitcher as the Panthers mustered only five hits over the initial five innings. ODU was able to take an early 1-0 lead though as Crislip opened the top of the second with a two-bagger to right, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Delligatta and scored thanks to a fielding error by the shortstop.
The Storm were the beneficiary of a Panther miscue in the fourth that eventually resulted in two runs and the 2-1 edge. The ODU bats finally began to come to life in the sixth though as Chaney led off with a high-bouncing single up the middle. After a dropped foul ball near the edge of the LEC dugout gave her a second chance, Crislip took full advantage with her second round tripper of the day and team-leading ninth of the year to flip the score to 3-2. Freshman Kelsey Seeds (Westerville, OH) tacked on the third score with a double down the left field chalk to plate Jividen and give the Panthers a 4-2 lead in the game.
Freshman starter Kendall Lust (Marion, OH) made sure the score would hold as she kept Lake Erie hitless for the final two innings for her sixth win on the rubber. Lust surrendered the lone earned run on four hits, while sitting down one and walking none on 81 pitches to move to 6-9.
Cribari added an insurance score in the seventh as she singled through the right side and upon seeing the ball skirt through the right fielder's legs, bolted around the base paths for the final margin.
Cribari, Crislip, Sutter and Seeds all generated two hits in game two. McCartney extended her hit streak to a team season best nine games with a single to center in the third, while Crislip's pair of homers on the day moved her into a fifth place tie in the program's all-time single-season top-10, just two shy of third.
The Panthers are back on the road this weekend with a six-game swing through Michigan, beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13 at NFCA No. 14 Grand Valley State.
Contact: Bryan Desch