Ohio Dominican was officially accepted as a member of NCAA Division II on July 8, 2011, and the athletic programs took another big step forward in the 2011-12 year. OhioDominicanPanthers.com is counting down the top 12 moments from the past year.
No. 10 – Home Cooking for ODU Softball Team
Following a disappointing spring break trip to Texas, the softball team returned to Columbus with a 4-10 record and in search of its identity for the 2012 season.
With an eight-game homestand looming, the Panthers needed to get untracked soon, and they did so in a big way.
A non-conference doubleheader with in-state foe Notre Dame College started the home stretch on Wednesday, March 21, and with the temperatures hovering in the upper 80s, the Panthers notched a pair of three-run victories in the twinbill sweep (5-2 and 6-3). Caitlin Chaney registered four hits and Brooke McCartney scored four runs as ODU jumped out to early leads in both contests.
ODU began conference play two days later, welcoming Lake Superior to Columbus, and the sharp pitching of Rachael Stanzel and Kendall Lust led the Panthers to a 3-0 win in the opener and a 6-0 win in the nightcap. Stanzel tossed a six-hitter in game one while Lust yielded just one hit, setting down the first 17 hitters she faced and needing just 63 pitches for the complete game win. Caitlin Jividen hit her first home run of the season in the 3-0 win as well.
The weekend was just getting started, though, as the Panthers then faced Saturday doubleheaders against Northwood and Saginaw Valley on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Trailing 4-2 in the seventh of the opener against Northwood, ODU loaded the bases and Lust delivered a two-run single back up the middle to tie the game. Moments later, Danyelle Delligatta sent a basehit into right field to bring in the game-winning run and extend ODU's winning streak to five in a row.
After ODU completed the Saturday sweep of Northwood, cruising to a 6-0 game two victory (more on that game later in the series), Ohio Dominican had a tough test awaiting on Sunday as Saginaw Valley also made its first visit to Panther Softball Field. The Cardinals were ranked fourth in the country in the preseason poll and made the College World Series in 2011.
ODU paid little mind to that, however, scoring two runs in the first inning of the opener and never looking back as the Panthers went on to record a 6-0 shutout. Stanzel tossed a one-hitter, Kylee Crislip homered and McCartney ripped a pair of doubles to lead the charge.
In the second game, ODU erupted for eight runs on seven hits in the third inning to grab a 10-2 lead. Chaney homered and McCartney cleared the bases with a three-run double to spark the outburst, and the Panthers held on for a 10-6 win to complete their homestand with a perfect 8-0 record.
The successes of that week helped propel the Panthers to a 17-3 record at home and the No. 4 seed in the GLIAC Tournament. ODU would finish with a 20-12 mark overall in GLIAC.
Contact: Scott Miles