FINDLAY, Ohio – Ohio Dominican softball captured their first Great Midwest Athletic Conference softball tournament championship, defeating Trevecca Nazarene University 4-2 on Saturday morning.
Junior Sydney Long (Ashland, Ohio) pitched another gem striking out eight batters in her seven innings of work and limiting the Trojans to just two runs.
ODU wasted no time in finding the scoresheet. With two outs in the first inning, freshman Baylee Adams (Cardington, Ohio) came to bat with a runner on second. She got a hold of a pitch and drove it over the center-field wall to give her club the 2-0 advantage.
The Black and Gold added another run in the bottom of the second inning when Allison Madden (Cincinnati, Ohio) slapped a bloop single through the middle of the infield and plated Kristen Bales (Pickerington, Ohio) to grow the lead to 3-0.
Trevecca didn't go quietly as a double down the left-field line scored two runs to close the ODU lead to just 3-2.
The Panthers got an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Alexis Stevens (Marion, Ohio) doubled to left-center to lead off the inning. Bales stepped into the box and singled up the middle, driving in Stevens and growing the lead to 4-2.
The Trojans attempted to mount a comeback in the fifth inning as they collected two quick hits to put runners on first and second base. Long settled in to retire the next two batters and escape the inning unscathed.
The Panther pitcher went on to strike out the next five batters she faced in the sixth and seventh innings and forced a popup from TNU catcher Matti Byrd to end the game and give her team the victory.
Long spoke with Sports Information Director Ralph Schudel following the championship celebration.
Saturday's victory gives the Panthers their first softball tournament championship in the program's history in NCAA Division II, and first since joining the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
ODU previously enjoyed success in 2019 when it won the regular-season championship going 33-22 overall and 21-5 in conference action.
Because of their victory in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament, the Black and Gold have now qualified for the NCAA regionals which will begin on Wednesday, May 19. ODU will learn its opponent in the coming days.
Contact: Ralph Schudel