ALLENDALE, Michigan – The Ohio Dominican softball team concluded its postseason run on Friday afternoon, falling 1-0 to Hilldale College on the third day of competition at the NCAA Regional Tournament hosted by Grand Valley State University.
ODU outhit Hillsdale by a margin of 8-to-6 on the afternoon. Sophomore Braxton Downs (Louisville, Kentucky) led the Panthers on offense, going 3-for-4 with two doubles. The second-year Panther struck with two extra-base hits late in the contest. Downs collected a double through the left side of the infield in the sixth inning and followed it up with a double in the eighth inning that nearly drove in senior Carson Hackerd (Frankfort, Indiana) who was thrown out at home plate attempting to score the first run of the game.
Junior Sydney Long (Ashland, Ohio) pitched 7.1 innings and struck out four batters in her fourth appearance of the tournament.
Neither team could claim an advantage in regulation and extra innings would be required to decide a winner.
The Black and Gold secured two hits and left one on base in the top half of the eighth inning. Hillsdale went to work in the bottom of the inning and would score the game-winning run after second basemen Sam Catron hit an RBI single down the left-field line that drove in Natalie Stepanenko and gave the Chargers the 1-0 win.
A RUN FOR THE AGES
Following their run in the 2021 NCAA Regional Tournament, the Panthers have finished with 30 wins or more in the last three consecutive full seasons. ODU has obtained that achievement on four occurrences during their time in NCAA Division II.
Appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years, the Black and Gold made a historic run during its time in Grand Rapids.
ODU improved upon its first appearance in 2014 in which it went 1-2 in tournament play. The Black and Gold secured two wins during their 2021 stay in the NCAA Regional tournament, making it ODU's best run-in school history.
WRAPPING IT UP
The Panthers finish the season with a record of 30-18 overall and 13-9 in conference play. Head coach Marcella Vanlandingham has captured 30 or more wins for the 12th time in her 26 seasons as head coach at Ohio Dominican.
Contact: Ralph Schudel