Fifth-Seeded Panthers to Meet Northwood in First Round

Fifth-Seeded Panthers to Meet Northwood in First Round

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the second straight year, the Ohio Dominican Softball Team will compete in the GLIAC tournament. In their first matchup of the tournament, the No. 5 Panthers will face No. 4 Northwood (28-17, 18-8 GLIAC) on Friday, May 3 at 10 a.m. on Iriti Field #5 at the Marathon Diamond Complex in Findlay, Ohio. The tournament is double-elimination.

Last week was a successful one for ODU (22-26-1, 17-9 GLIAC) as they won four out of their six games. On Tuesday, Ohio Dominican played two games against Lake Erie in a makeup doubleheader.  In the first game, the Panthers were led by the bat of sophomore Taylor Thomas (Bellville, Ohio), who had two hits and one RBI in four at bats, while also scoring two runs. Sophomore Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, Texas) gave up only one run in seven innings of work en route to her 13th win of the season as Ohio Dominican took the game 5-1.

In the second contest, sophomore Kelsey Seeds (Westerville, Ohio) had one her best games of the season. Seeds recorded two hits, two RBI and two runs, but was not alone in her success. Three other Panthers had two hits and the team combined for a total of 10 hits. Carried by offense, ODU added another win to their record, winning the game 10-2 when play was called in the fifth.

On Friday, the Panthers traveled to Ashland, Ohio to take on the Eagles. In the first half of the doubleheader, offense was tough to come by for the Panthers as they lost 7-1. In the second matchup, sophomore Alex Cribari (Lyndhurst, Ohio) scored the Panthers two runs, but it wasn't enough. Ohio Dominican lost the game 6-2.

The following day, on Saturday, the team faced off against Malone. In the first part of the twin bill, Stanzel threw a season-high eight strikeouts, giving her 79 for the season, which ranks 11th in the GLIAC. She got the decision, too, which made 14 wins on the year, which is sixth best in the conference. The shutout was Stanzel's fourth in 2013.

Offense was hard to come by in the game, but the runs started coming in the third inning. Cribari's one-out single started it, and her hit was followed up by a single from senior Brooke McCartney (Salem, Ohio). Following an error which brought Cribari home, Thomas stepped up to the plate and hit a two-RBI single to score Ohio Dominican's second and third runs. In the top of the sixth the Panthers would add on one more, to make the final score 4-0.

The second game saw an offensive explosion from ODU. Thomas and Seeds were the main culprits, as together they combined for four hits, five RBI and three runs. Sophomore pitcher Brandis Fishel (Gahanna, Ohio) pitched great, allowing one run in five innings as well as adding two more strikeouts to her stats, bumping her total strikeouts for the season to 37. After six innings, Ohio Dominican was given the win by the score 9-1.

For the first game of the GLIAC tournament, the Panthers will take on Northwood. The Panthers played the Timberwolves at home in a doubleheader on March 22. In the first game, ODU won 3-2 in extra innings on a walk off single by sophomore Devan Audette (Bronson, Mich.) which brought junior Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, W. Va.) home. Stanzel pitched all eight innings, throwing four strikeouts. In the second game later that day, Jividen's three hits and one run weren't enough, as Ohio Dominican fell 7-1.

Northwood will enter the game with the Panthers coming off of a rough stretch. They have lost three of their last four, which ended an eight game winning streak. The Timberwolves are an offensive juggernaut, ranking in the top three in the GLIAC in hits, runs, RBI, home runs, doubles, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and batting average.

Northwood's offense is led by junior Sam Zaborowski and junior Stacey Klonowski. Zaborowski hit .448 on the season, which is third in the GLIAC, and has 41 RBI on the year, which is second in the conference. Klonowski is right behind her teammate in batting average at fourth in the conference, with an average of .415. She is also fourth in the GLIAC in home runs with nine and fourth in the conference in stolen bases with 11. In addition, both players have slugging percentages above .660 and Zaborowski has an on base percentage of .516.

Northwood's pitching staff is led by sophomore Maddison Sebald. She ranks fifth in the GLIAC in wins with 15, and currently holds a 2.92 ERA. Her 58 strikeouts lead her team, and she has thrown a complete game in 18 of her 21 starts.

Preview by Sports Information Intern Justin Meyer.

Contact: Sarah Twiggs