Softball Collects Opening Day Split in Alabama

Kelsey Seeds
Kelsey Seeds

DECATUR, Ala. - Ohio Dominican' softball team kicked off the 2012 campaign with an efficient 5-1 victory over Delta State (Miss.) Friday morning at the UAH Ringor Charger Chillout, but could not find the timely hitting in game two against NFCA No. 3 North Georgia, falling 4-0.

Led by a trio of freshmen, the Panthers claimed their season opener for the second straight year and seventh time in the last 10, jumping on the Statesmen early with three runs in the first en route to the 5-1 win.

Freshmen Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, Texas) went the distance in the circle, allowing just one run on six hits with one strikeout and two walks. Battery-mate Alex Cribari (Fr./Lyndhurst, OH) provided two hits, two runs in three plate appearances, while freshman Kelsey Seeds (Westerville, OH) was perfect in her debut going 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Senior Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH) opened the decisive first with a bunt single and following a stolen base, advanced to third on Cribari's single to shortstop. Cribari then stole second and made it to third on a fielder's choice by junior Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH), plating Sutter. Another stolen base, this time by McCartney, allowed Cribari to take home and senior Kylee Crislip (Louisville, OH) followed with a single to center to cap the scoring.

Delta State (3-4) responded with one run in the first on three hits, but Stanzel regrouped and held the Statesmen to just three hits over the final six frames, inducing a combined 17 ground- and fly-ball outs. ODU added an unearned run in the top of the fifth and another insurance run in the sixth as sophomore Rebekha Lucas (Laurelville, OH) led off with a triple to left center and score on Seeds' third single of the game to left. 

The roles were reversed for the Panthers in game two as the Saints opened the scoring, sending a run across in both the first and second innings. ODU remained within striking distance over the next three frames, but a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the sixth iced the victory for North Georgia as they improved to 8-0 on the year. 

Despite only three hits, ODU was not without its chances though as the Panthers left four runners in scoring position, including a bases loaded top half of the fifth. Red-shirt freshman Kendall Lust (Marion, OH) took the loss on the rubber, working six innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk, while fanning two.

ODU (1-1) continues the Charger Chillout tomorrow against Lander (S.C.) and West Georgia. Due to anticipated inclement weather, both games have been moved up two hours to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

Bryan Desch