TIFFIN, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican softball team's chances to nab an automatic berth in the conference tournament took a hit Wednesday at Tiffin's Paradiso Fields as the Dragons thwarted the Panthers at the plate en route to the twinbill sweep of 1-0 (8) and 3-2.
ODU, 20-26 and 14-12 in the GLIAC, sits fourth in the South Division standings and is tied for sixth overall, while Tiffin (25-20) moved ahead of the Panthers into third in the division at 16-12, claiming the season series, 3-1. The top three squads in each division followed by two wildcard selections with the next best records will earn a spot in the GLIAC Tournament next Friday, April 27 in Findlay.
Game one came down to a battle of the aces on the rubber as neither team was able to plate a run over the seven innings of regulation. Freshman Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, TX) yielded only six hits and one walk as play entered the extra frame, while counterpart Amber Young gave up just four hits and three walks to the Panthers.
Tiffin finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth as a one-out double to left center was followed by the game-winning, two-out bouncing chopper through the middle. Stanzel, the tough-luck loser despite allowing just the lone score on eight hits with four strikeouts, dropped to 13-10 in her first season for ODU.
After getting blanked for the fifth time this year, the Panthers did not wait long to get on the board in the series finale as freshman Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, OH) and Caitlin Chaney (Newark, OH) connected on back-to-back one-out singles. A passed ball and wild pitch allowed the pair to move up on the basepaths with Cribari crossing home for the 1-0 score.
The Dragons moved ahead, 3-1, in the top of the fourth behind an RBI double to left center and two-out, two-run homerun down the left field edge. After reaching on a fielder's choice to second in the sixth, junior Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH) came home on a pair of Tiffin fielding errors to bring ODU within one, yet a shortage of hits and baserunners throughout the contest inevitably resulted in the Panthers' setback.
With the road portion of the schedule over, ODU begins its slate of three final home doubleheaders at 3:30 p.m. this Friday, April 19 as Findlay visits for Friends of Jaclyn Day.
Throughout the day's action, the Panthers will have a silent auction and donation basket with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the FOJ Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families. ODU will recognize its honorary team member, Reagyn Semler, along with her family prior to the start of game one.
Contact: Bryan Desch