Senior Day Sweep Clinches Postseason Berth for ODU Softball

Class of 2012: (L-R) Erin Sutter, Kylee Crislip & Caitlin Chaney
Class of 2012: (L-R) Erin Sutter, Kylee Crislip & Caitlin Chaney

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The home field advantage was in full force yet again for Ohio Dominican's softball team as the Panthers capped off Saturday afternoon's Senior Day with wins of 5-4 and 9-4 for their second sweep in as many days of division foe, Findlay.

The four-game series sweep of the Oilers clinched ODU's first GLIAC Tournament berth in just its second season as the Panthers, 24-26 overall, improved to 18-12 and are currently positioned third in the South Division and fourth in the overall classification with two games to play. The losses dropped Findlay to 22-23 overall and ninth in the standings, 1.5 games back of the final playoff spot at 13-17.

With the score all-square at 4-4 entering the bottom of the seventh of game one, ODU took advantage of two Findlay errors in the infield to get its first two runners aboard. Following a fielder's choice and intentional walk to sophomore Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, WV) to load the bases, freshman Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, OH; pictured left) ripped an opposite-field shot between the first baseman and the bag for the walk-off victory as junior Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH) came home for the game-winning run.

After holding the Oilers to a combined three hits yesterday, the Panthers found themselves down 3-0 after the second inning as Findlay plated three on four hits and an ODU error.

In the third, the Panthers battled back to take a 4-3 lead as sophomore Rebekha Lucas (Laurelville, OH) reached on a one-out triple to the wall in left center. Senior Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH) than beat out a base hit to third and following her 16th stolen base of the season, McCartney put down a squeeze bunt to the right of the circle to score Lucas. Senior Caitlin Chaney (Newark, OH) brought home her classmate with a base knock to right center and fellow class of 2012 member Kylee Crislip (Louisville, OH) followed with her GLIAC-leading 11th homerun, a towering blast into the trees behind left field.

Freshman Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, TX) once again went the distance on the rubber, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits, while walking one and fanning one for her 15th win. 

In game two, ODU plated runs in four of the first five innings, highlighted by a four-run third, en route to the 9-4 victory and its 15th home win in 18 games at Panther Field. 

Crislip singled home Chaney in the top of the first, and following a two-run second frame by Findlay, the Panthers hung a four-spot on the board behind four hits and two Oilers miscues. McCartney and freshman Taylor Thomas (Bellville, OH) each collected RBI in the at-bat as McCartney scored Lucas with a fielder's choice and Thomas plated Crislip with single back through the middle. 

In the fourth, a groundout to short by Chaney brought home Sutter after the lefty singled through the hole on the left side and advanced to third on McCartney's double to left center.  McCartney then came around to push ODU's lead to 7-2 on Jividen's base hit to right field.

Freshman relief pitcher Kendall Lust (Marion, OH) provided herself with some additional run support in the top of the fifth with her first career long-ball, a two-run shot to straightaway center that scored Thomas after she led off with a double to right.

Sutter, Chaney, Jividen and Thomas all finished 2-of-4 at the plate, while Lust moved to 7-10 with the win in relief, giving up two earned on five hits in 4.0 innings of work. 

ODU concludes the regular season next Tuesday, April 24 at 3:30 pm as Lake Erie visits Panther Field. 

Contact: Bryan Desch