ADA, Ohio – The Wilmington College softball team got its bats going early in game one and late in game two of the program's first doubleheader sweep of Ohio Northern University (ONU) in at least a decade on Saturday. The Fightin' Quakers won game one 5-4 and game two 5-2.
Megan Crager got on base via a hit by pitch to open the contest, but the Fightin' Quakers would run themselves into two outs as both Crager and Hayley Suchland were caught stealing. Arianna Layne wouldn't let the visitors leave the top of the first scoreless, however, as the freshman launched a solo home run to left center. Suchland, the Quakers' starting pitcher, surrendered a single hit in the bottom of the first, but the Polar Bears would be thrown out at third to end the frame. In the top of the second, Alecia Kemp reached base via an error, and after Olivia Doll laid down the sacrifice bunt, Sarah Bumps doubled her home to right center.
Up 2-0, Wilmington continued to utilize the long ball as Layne hit her second home run, also a solo shot to left center. Lizz Hadley followed that up with a single to center field and Lindsey Carter hit a home run to straight-away center, putting the visitors up 5-0. The Polar Bears answered in the bottom of the third, plating four runs on three hits and one Quaker error in the bottom of the inning. ONU had the tying run on second, but Suchland ended the inning with a strikeout.
Those runs would prove to be the last of the game. ONU would get a runner in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn't tie the game. Suchland earned the complete-game victory, scattering nine hits over the seven innings allowing just a single earned run.
Alex Daum took the loss for the Polar Bears, allowing four earned runs on five hits in 2.1 innings. Allie Bican pitched well in relief for ONU, allowing just a single hit and striking out seven in the final 4.2 innings.
Offensively, five of Wilmington's six hits were of the extra-base variety. Layne led the way going 3-for-4 with two home runs, two RBIs and two runs scored. A trio of Polar Bears – Abby Davis, Sydney Motylinski and Gabby Stewart – all had two hits.
In the nightcap, ONU utilized the sacrifice bunt to score a run in the second without a hit and another run in the third on just one hit. Trailing 2-0 having failed to score with runners in position in both the second and third innings, Wilmington did not get a runner past first base in the fourth or fifth inning. Starting pitcher Alexis Stringfellow got out of a bases loaded jam with no outs in the fifth, keeping Wilmington within striking distance.
The Quakers took advantage in the sixth as Courtney Michalak doubled down the right field line scoring Layne and Olivia Doll to tie the game 2-2. The Polar Bears loaded the bases for the second consecutive inning in the bottom half of the inning, but a flyout ended the inning. Wilmington delivered the knockout punch in the top of the seventh as three doubles from Andrea Edmisten, Suchland and Carter gave Wilmington a 4-2 lead. The visitors added an insurance run when Doll singled home Carter.
Stringfellow finished out the complete game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning. The junior hurler allowed just four hits and two earned runs with one strikeout in the victory, her seventh of the season. Stacey Walters dipped to 6-4 for ONU with the loss, striking out nine, but allowed six hits as well as six walks.
For the second consecutive game, Wilmington had six hits, four of which were extra-base hits. Doll went 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. ONU was held to four singles with Lauren Renner and Alicia Swierz driving in runs for the Polar Bears.
Wilmington (14-12, 13-9 OAC) will host ONU for a twinbill at the WC Softball Complex beginning at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday).