XENIA, Ohio — Two eight-inning games on day one of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Softball Tournament saw Ohio Dominican defeat Davis & Elkins 3-2 (8 inn.) before falling just short to Kentucky Wesleyan 11-10 (8 inn.) on Thursday at Athletes In Action Sports Complex.
ODU (33-20) will take on Trevecca tomorrow at 11 a.m. and will need to win three games on Friday to advance to the G-MAC Championship Saturday.
Ohio Dominican advanced to the winner's bracket semifinals thanks in part to timely hits from freshmen Carson Hackerd (Frankfort, Indiana) and Kristen Bales (Pickerington, Ohio). Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, senior Liz Sutter (Mansfield, Ohio) led off the inning with a single to third base. A sacrifice bunt by sophomore Landry Slider (Stow, Ohio) moved Sutter to second. Then with two outs, Hackerd doubled down the first base line, scoring Sutter to tie the game at 2-2.
The Panther defense turned a double play in the top of the eighth to go to the bottom of the inning, and a single to center field by sophomore Taylor Farmer (Mt. Blanchard, Ohio) put the winning run on first base for ODU. With two outs, Bales hit a fly ball to short left field. The Senator outfielders collided in an attempt to make the catch, and Farmer came around to score the game winning run, pushing the Panthers past the Senators, 3-2 (8 innings).
Bales went 3-for-4 in the contest with the game-winning RBI. Hackerd finished 2-for-3 and tallied the game-tying RBI in the bottom of the seventh. Farmer finished 2-for-4 with an RBI while also pitching three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Junior pitcher Abby Lamping (Cleves, Ohio) allowed just two earned runs in five innings of work in the circle.
The winner's bracket semifinal matchup between Kentucky Wesleyan and ODU was a high-scoring affair that saw 31 combined hits, 21 combined runs, a field-transition delay and intermittent showers late in the contest.
Kentucky Wesleyan led 10-6 going to the top of the sixth, but Ohio Dominican rallied to score four runs over the next two innings and tie the contest at 10-10. In the top of the sixth with runners of first and second, Hackerd notched a single through the right side to score freshman Aubrey Rolon (Hilliard, Ohio) and Sutter to cut the deficit to 10-8.
In the bottom of the seventh and down to its last strike, ODU once again came up with a timely hit. On the 0-2 pitch, Rayburn hit a double to left field, with the ball bouncing off the wall just inches from a home run. The hit scored Bales and Farmer to tie the game at 10-10.
After a transition to move play to a lighted field at AIA Sports Complex between the seventh and eighth innings, ODU saw Farmer single to left field with two outs in the top of the inning, but Ohio Dominican could not muster a run. KWC scored the game-winning run on an RBI single through the right side in the bottom of the eighth, advancing the winner's bracket final.
Friday morning's matchup between ODU and Trevecca will mark the third meeting this season between the two teams, with Ohio Dominican earning a pair of one-run victories over the Trojans on April 14.
Contact: Aaron McPherson