By Sports Information intern Tyler Jester
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Dominican softball team (18-22, 14-2) will be back on the road this week after eight straight games at home. ODU has played 14 of their last 16 games at home, but will be on the road for six games this week. During the long strand of home games, the Panthers went 12-4 and started GLIAC play 11-0 before falling to Tiffin last Wednesday. After splitting with Tiffin, ODU swept Lake Erie and then split with Walsh on Friends of Jaclyn Day.
This week ODU will travel to Northwood on Wednesday for two games, followed by a two game set at Ferris State on Thursday. Then the Panthers will travel back to the state of Michigan on Saturday to play Grand Valley State in two games.
This past week saw the Panthers drop their first two conference games of the season, but also ODU lost their top spot in the conference rankings. Though the Panthers lost their first conference matchups, they still continued to swing the bats well. Junior Taylor Thomas (Bellville, OH) went 9-18 from the plate this week, including two home runs and five RBI. Thomas is leading the team in batting average at .409, hits, 47, and RBI with 23. Also her six home runs are third in the GLIAC this season.
Sophomore infielder Kelsey Albanese (Westerville, OH) went 8-16 from the plate and drove in three runs. She also recorded three doubles and scored four runs. On the season Albanese is batting .308 with eight doubles and 16 RBI.
Sophomore Lizzy Weber (Canton, OH) found a spark in her bat as she went 6-13 from the plate and recorded her first two home runs as a Panther. She also added one double, three RBI and scored five runs.
Junior pitcher Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, TX) continued to improve her record as she is now 12-11 on the season is ranked second in the GLIAC in wins. This past week Stanzel went 4-0 with a 0.80 ERA. She struck out 22 batters and conceded only one walk in 26.1 innings. She has recorded 13 complete games on the season and has a 2.38 ERA.
Northwood (19-11, 10-4) comes into the week fourth in the conference and only two losses behind the Panthers in GLIAC play. The Timberwolves come into the week winning six of their last eight and are currently riding a three game winning streak. They will host Grand Valley State for two games on Tuesday before hosting ODU. Last season the two teams split the regular season series with ODU winning 3-2, and Northwood winning 7-1. The Panthers, however, won the meeting between the two teams in the GLIAC tournament, 3-2.
The Wolves have nine batters that have an average of .300 or better. As a team they are ranked third in the conference with a .327 batting average. They are led by senior Sam Zaborowski who leads the team in every offensive category except runs scored. Zaborowski is batting .448 with 28 RBI and six home runs, all of which are ranked in the top five in the GLIAC.
The Northwood pitching staff is led by Maddison Sebald who is 9-4 on the season with a 2.03 ERA. Sebald went 1-1 against the Panthers last season, pitching complete games in both appearances. She gave up a combined three runs on 17 hits, and struck out five batters. The doubleheader will begin at 2:00p.m.
Ferris State (9-11, 4-5) comes into the week ninth in the conference and went 2-3 last week. They will host Ashland for two games on Tuesday before hosting ODU on Thursday. Last season the Bulldogs took both games on ODU's Senior Day by the scores of 4-3 and 5-2.
Ferris State has the best pitcher in terms of ERA in the GLIAC in Stacey Thompson. Thompson has made 13 appearances on the season and has started one game. She has a 0.44 ERA and holds a 1-1 record on the season.
Freshman Casey Bias leads the team with a .353 batting average. She also has three home runs and four doubles while driving in 15 runs. Sophomore Alyssa Smith is batting .333 and is tied for the conference lead with 13 steals. The two game set will start at 3:30p.m.
The Panthers will close out the week with a doubleheader at conference leading Grand Valley State. GVSU (20-5, 9-1) come into the week riding a nine game winning streak, and winners in 13 of their last 14 games. Last week the Lakers swept Lake Superior State, Wayne State, and Malone. Last season the Panthers dropped all three games to the Lakers including a 3-1 loss in the GLIAC tournament.
Grand Valley has a strong offense, which is ranked first in triples (7) and RBI (152). They also rank second in batting average (.337) and home runs (20). Briauna Taylor leads the charge offensively for the Lakers with a .468 batting average, 40 RBI and eight home runs, all of which lead the GLIAC. Taylor went 3-9 from the plate against ODU last season.
Lauren Gevaart leads a solid pitching staff for the Lakers with an 8-0 record and a 1.20 ERA. Gevaart also has 80 strikeouts on the season in 64.0 innings pitched. Sophomore Sara Andrasik is 9-3 on the season and has a 2.39 ERA. The Lakers and Panthers will play on Saturday beginning at 1:00p.m.
Contact: Sarah Twiggs