Softball Heads Up I-71 To Battle Ashland On Wednesday Afternoon

Sydney Long
Sydney Long

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican softball hits the road Wednesday for its first contest away from Sunbury Road in 24 days. The Black and Gold make the short drive-up Interstate 71 to battle former GLIAC rival and future Great Midwest Athletic Conference member institution Ashland University.

ODU comes into Wednesday's doubleheader winners of its last six contests, with five wins coming against teams in the GLIAC. Last weekend the Black and Gold claimed victories over Purdue Northwest and Davenport University and received strong pitching performances from the trio of Sydney Long (Ashland, Ohio), Olivia Rettke (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), and Addison Smodilla (Terre Haute, Indiana).

Long nearly captured her first collegiate perfect game last Saturday, but she settled for a complete-game win. The junior pitcher claimed that victory when senior Kristen Bales (Pickerington, Ohio) completed a game-ending double play from center field, catching a fly ball and throwing out a runner at home plate.

Speaking of Bales, she was one of three Panthers who claimed home runs last weekend. She, along with Smodilla, and Braxton Downs (Prospect, Kentucky) all made trips around the bases after hitting towering shots that left Panther field.

SCOUTING ASHLAND

The Eagles come into Wednesday's contest searching for their first victory in four contests with their last win coming on February 21 against the University of Illinois-Springfield. AU is led offensively by Alexis Lavdis who is batting .313 this season with two doubles and two RBIs. The top pitcher for Ashland is Jillian Middleton who leads the team with 15 innings pitched and 24 strikeouts. AU has yet to claim victory against a G-MAC opponent, losing 11-3 to Hillsdale on February 20 and losing 9-1 and 4-1 against the University of Findlay on March 13.