COLUMBUS, Ohio - Fueled by freshman Rachael Stanzel's (Angleton, TX) one-hit shutout in the opener, Ohio Dominican's softball team picked up two crucial shutout wins over Findlay Friday at Panther Field, blanking the Oilers 2-0 and 3-0.
For archived broadcasts of the games, courtesy of broadcaster Todd Bell, click here.
Not to be outdone, classmates Kacey Locker (Tipp City, OH) and Kendall Lust (Marion, OH) continued the Panthers dominance in the circle in game two, combining for a two-hit shutout.
The wins moved the Panthers (22-26) to 16-12 in the GLIAC and almost guaranteed them a spot in next weekend's conference tournament. Thanks to Ashland's sweep of Tiffin earlier today, ODU now sits in third in the South Division and fifth overall, three games clear of the Oilers and Northwood (Mich.) in eighth. The top three squads in each division followed by two wildcard selections with the next best records are assured a spot in the postseason tournament at Marathon Diamonds Complex in Findlay.
Stanzel allowed game one's leadoff batter to reach on a walk, but quickly settled down to retire 22 of the next 23 Oilers, including the final 14 of the contest for her fourth shutout and team-leading 14th win. Findlay's lone hit came on a one-out bouncer down the left field line in the third that just cleared the outstretched arm of freshman third baseman Taylor Thomas (Bellville, OH).
With the help of a pair of Oilers' miscues, ODU was able to provide two runs of support for Stanzel, plating one run in both the fourth and fifth frames. Following a throwing error in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, WV) and freshman Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, OH) connected on a pair of basehits to the outfield grass to score senior Caitlin Chaney (Newark, OH).
In the fifth, Lust opened with a single down the left field chalk and after a pair of groundouts, a second throwing error allowed freshman pinch runner Tiffany Goodrich (Westerville, OH) to scurry home.
In the nightcap, the Panthers spotted Locker an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first. Senior Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH) led off with a shot through the middle and sophomore Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH) reached thanks to a mishandle at shortstop. After a successful double steal by the duo, Chaney plated Sutter with a sacrifice squeeze back to the pitcher. Senior Kylee Crislip (Louisville, OH) then drew a one-out walk for the first and third situation where the Panthers executed a second double steal with McCartney diving home for the score.
Jividen tacked on an insurance run in the fourth, sending a 3-0 pitch to right center just below the scoreboard for her third long ball on the season.
Locker earned the win on the rubber, pitching 4.0 innings of two-hit ball and one walk, while Lust notched her first collegiate save with a perfect final three frames of work.
ODU concludes the four-game set against the Oilers (22-21, 13-15 GLIAC) at 1 p.m. tomorrow with the team's annual Senior Day. Following game two action, the Panthers will honor its three senior student-athletes: Chaney, Crislip and Sutter.
Today's games were part of the Panthers' Friends of Jaclyn Day. As members of the FOJ Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families, ODU's "adopted teammate," Reagyn Semler was recognized prior to the start of game one and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Panthers also raised over $1200 to directly support the FOJ initiative through donations, T-shirt and wristband sales and a silent auction.
Contact: Bryan Desch