Softball Captures Second Straight Road Split Against Chargers

Rachael Stanzel
Rachael Stanzel

HILLSDALE, Mich. - The Ohio Dominican softball team took advantage of some shoddy defense for a 9-2 win in the opener at Hillsdale (Mich.), but was held in check in the closing game, 3-2, for the Sunday afternoon conference split at Johnny Williams Field. 

The Panthers' second split in as many days leaves them in a tie for fourth in the overall GLIAC standings with the Chargers at 14-10, one game back of Wayne State (Mich.) in third. After finishing the Michigan weekend road swing 2-4, including three of the losses by two runs or less, ODU sits at 20-24 on the season, while Hillsdale moved to 22-17.

The Chargers took their first and only lead in game one with an RBI triple in the bottom of the first inning, however, five errors over the remainder of the game provided the Panthers with eight unearned runs en route to the 9-2 victory. 

Senior Kylee Crislip (Louisville, OH) opened the scoring for ODU in the second with a lead off, solo shot on a 2-2 count for her GLIAC-leading 10th homerun this season. A throwing error by Hillsdale's catcher scored sophomore Caitlin Jividen (Wheeling, WV) after Jividen singled to left and advanced to second on a four-pitch walk to freshman Taylor Thomas (Bellville, OH). 

An RBI double down the right field line by the Chargers in the third tied the game at 2-2 and the score remained until the top of the sixth when the Panthers sent three across. ODU loaded the bases with one out as Jividen walked, Thomas singled to right, and freshman Rachael Stanzel (Angleton, TX) reached on a bunt single. A fielder's choice coupled with a throwing error by the third baseman allowed freshman pinch runner Rebekha Lucas (Laurelville, OH) and Jividen to score. A second fielder's choice, this time with senior Caitlin Chaney (Newark, OH) at the plate, scored Stanzel to push the lead to 5-2.

The Panthers tacked on four more insurance runs in the seventh for good measure as Crislip took first on four straight balls and freshman pinch hitter Kelsey Seeds (Westerville, OH) reached on a second error by the third baseman. Senior Erin Sutter (Mansfield, OH) advanced the runners on a 6-3 groundout and with the runners in scoring position, a fielding miscue by the rightfielder allowed Crislip and Seeds to easily reach home. Thomas followed with a walk and Stanzel plated Jividen with a two-basehit to the outfield. ODU's final tally came after a Hillsdale pitching change as Thomas came home on a wild pitch. 

Along with wielding the hot bat for the Panthers, going 3-of-4 with the RBI and run scored, Stanzel was just as effective in the circle, allowing just the two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out three and walking none for her 13th decision and 17th complete game. 

In the nightcap, the Chargers were spotted a 3-0 lead in the first by ODU and never turned back as Hillsdale ace Laura Homan held the Panthers to just two runs on six hits, fanning six. Back-to-back singles with no outs followed by a homerun accounted for the Chargers' three scores. 

ODU took advantage of a first and third situation in the third for its score and added another in the fifth as Lucas led off with a single, advanced on sacrifice bunt by junior Brooke McCartney (Salem, OH), and scurried home on a base hit by Chaney. 

The Panthers threatened in the bottom of the seventh as Thomas and McCartney advanced to second and third with two outs, after reaching on a walk and single to left, respectively, yet the tying run was stranded as the game ended on a fly out to left.

Chaney recorded three of ODU's six hits, going a season-best 3-of-4 with the lone run batted in. 

The Panthers are at Tiffin this Wednesday, April 18 for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader and their final road matchup of the year.

Contact: Bryan Desch