COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican softball team scored its first two wins of the season and first at home in 677 days by securing wins against West Liberty University and Saginaw Valley State University on Friday afternoon at Panther Field.
Friday's contest marked the first home event for the Panthers since April 28, 2019, when the Black and Gold defeated Lake Erie College to give head coach Marcella Vanlandingham her 700th career victory.
Junior Sydney Long (Ashland, Ohio) began the game in tremendous form earning three consecutive groundouts for a 1-2-3 inning. ODU went to work in the bottom of the inning when Madison Shemwell (Owensboro, Kentucky) earned a walk to start the Panther offense. She found herself on second base thanks to a passed ball.
Freshman Alexis Stevens (Marion, Ohio) earned a walk to turn up the pressure. The duo advanced to second and third on a passed ball, which set the stage for Baylee Adams (Cardington, Ohio). The first-year Panther singled and drove in Shemwell and Stevens to give the Black and Gold a 2-0 lead. Senior Kristen Bales (Pickerington, Ohio) doubled home Adams and the Panthers ended the first inning with a 3-0 advantage.
ODU scored its fourth and final run as a home run by Braxton Downs (Prospect, Kentucky) lifted the Black and Gold to a 4-3 victory over West Liberty in game one.
In the second game, the Panthers went toe-to-toe with Saginaw Valley State. Both teams traded runs throughout the contest as the Panthers would force extra innings. A blooper by Bales traveled to right field but was mishandled and that allowed Alexis Stevens to score from second on the error.
Sophomore Addison Smodilla (Terre Haute, Indiana) pitched an inning and a third in relief and got her first win of the season.
The Black and Gold return to action Saturday facing both West Liberty and Saginaw Valley State. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm and 3 pm respectively.
Contact: Ralph Schudel