ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican softball team hit the road for the first time in 24 days to battle Ashland University on Wednesday afternoon at Brookside Park in Ashland, Ohio. ODU continued its winning ways, earning a doubleheader sweep of AU, winning 3-2 in a nine-inning game one, and 7-5 in game two.
The Panthers took game one behind another strong performance from junior Sydney Long (Ashland, Ohio). The Ashland native pitched all nine innings and struck out seven in her homecoming to Northeast Ohio.
Sophomore Madison Shemwell (Owensboro, Kentucky) created the game's first run when she tripled to right-centerfield to drive in an awaiting Allison Madden (Cincinnati, Ohio), who had previously hit a single to centerfield. Shemwell would score as teammate Baylee Adams (Cardington, Ohio) drove the Panther second baseman in via a fielder's choice to double the lead to 2-0.
The Eagles clawed back to score a run in the sixth and seventh to force extra innings. ODU would score the decisive run as shortstop Alexis Stevens (Marion, Ohio) hit a bloop single to drive in an awaiting Keirah Smetzer (Ashland, Ohio) who was pinch-running on second base.
Long returned for the bottom of the inning to strike out two batters and force a groundout to claim the win.
ODU hit the diamond for game two, hungry for the series sweep. Ashland set the tone early as a home run from Eagles right fielder Alli Hylton gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the first inning. AU piled on to its lead with an RBI single adding two more runs to their tally and giving them a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.
That's where the Black and Gold went to work.
Shemwell once again reached base with the first at-bat of the inning and Adams joined her after a bunt single. Sophomore Braxton Downs (Prospect, Kentucky) doubled to left field, driving in two runs, and the flood gates opened. Senior Kristen Bales (Pickerington, Ohio) followed with an RBI single as did catcher Raemon Meents (Downers Grove, Illinois). All told the Panthers scored seven runs on seven hits to jump to a 7-3 advantage.
Ashland would add two runs in the bottom of the inning and that would be the last of their scoring for the day as Olivia Rettke (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) thwarted any comeback attempt and allowed the Black and Gold to claim victory and the series sweep.
The win gives the Panthers their eighth straight victory and third straight sweep over GLIAC competition. The winning streak is the best since ODU rattled off 14-straight wins during the 2019 campaign.
ODU returns home to welcome two more former GLIAC foes to Sunbury Road. The Black and Gold tangle with Northwood University on Friday afternoon and welcome Grand Valley State University on Saturday afternoon.
Contact: Ralph Schudel