CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Ohio University Softball Team (11-3) ended its participation at the 2013 University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Frost Classic on a high note Sunday, defeating Tennessee Tech by a final score of 3-2 to end the tournament with a 4-1 record.
The Bobcats never led in Sunday’s game until the final inning of play, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh to wrench the lead away from the Golden Eagles. A two-run home run by Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) proved to be the difference on Sunday, and freshman pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey retired the side in order in the bottom of the frame to close out the victory.
The comeback victory was Ohio’s second in a row, as the ‘Cats ended their win over Boston College on Saturday with a Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) home run.
Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) picked up her fifth career win in just her ninth appearance on Sunday, striking out nine batters and walking none en route to earning her second complete game. The freshman allowed just four hits in the win.
The teams played a scoreless first 3.5 innings before Tennessee Tech struck first in the bottom of the fourth. With two runners in scoring position and one out in the inning, one Golden Eagle was able to come around to score on a successful steal attempt at second base. Tennessee Tech’s second run of the inning touched the plate courtesy of a wild pitch with a runner on third.
Ohio was able to pull within one run in the top of the fifth inning, scoring for the first time on Sunday courtesy of a Timmie Rappe (Wheaton, Ill.) single to center field. Earlier in the inning, Amanda Dalton (Salem, Va.) had doubled through the left side to get into scoring position.
Following the brief trouble encountered in the fourth inning, Dorsey shut down the Golden Eagles the rest of the way, only allowing one more runner throughout the rest of the contest.
In the top of the seventh inning, Dalton hit a single up the middle with one out. She was followed immediately by Wolfe, who hit a two-run shot to give the ‘Cats their lone and only necessary lead of the afternoon.
The Bobcats will take a week break from official competition before traveling to Seattle, Wash., for a game against Seattle University (March 7) and to participate at the University of Washington Husky Classic (March 8-9) against Yale, No. 18 Washington, Seattle, and Bradley.
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Northern Illinois University softball team's bats erupted in its 7-3 victory over host Florida Atlantic on the final day of play in the FAU "Strike-Out Cancer" Tournament Sunday.
The Huskies (5-5) pounded out eight hits and capitalized on four Owl errors to rally for the victory.
Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the second, Northern Illinois erupted with a five-run inning to take a 6-3 lead. The Huskies scored five runs on one hit, two base on balls and four Florida Atlantic errors.
"We definitely capitalized on every error they made, said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "Getting a run in the bottom of the first, after they scored the two in the top of the inning was huge for us to give us confidence since went yesterday without scoring."
After back-to-back one out walks put a pair on for NIU Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) reached on an error to load the bases for Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins). Gremillion drove in the innings first run when she reached on a fielder's choice and Ashley Kopp (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) scored on an error by the first baseman.
Two more runs scored on a FAU error when Delani Vest (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) reached on a fielder's choice and Madison Murphy (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart) and Phelan scored on an error by the Owls' catcher. Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncali) singled to left, driving in Vest, who advanced to third on the hit and scored on a throwing error by the left fielder, and Gremillion.
"It was nice to see Bryanna [Phelan] have a good day. She's been working really hard and trying to getting back from an injury in the fall," she said. "JB [Barnett] has been steady all along. That's been really good for us."
Barnett led the Huskie offense in the top of the order going 2-for-4 with two RBIs from the three hole. Phelan provided the pop from the bottom of the NIU line up as she went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
"We mixed the line up up this last game to see if we could get a little more run production," Sutcliffe said. "Nicole had been doing really well getting on base, so we took her out of the three spot and put her up at the top and see what we could do. It seemed to work.
"We started the rally [in the fifth] with the bottom of the line up. They got things going, then our top of the line up was able to do what they do and get them in."
The Huskies return to the diamond Saturday, Mar. 2, 2013 when NIU travels to Carbondale, Ill. to compete in the Coach B Classic hosted by Southern Illinois. Northern Illinois opens the tournament against in-state rival Western Illinois with first pitch set for 10 a.m. CT.
CONWAY, Ark. - - The Ball State softball team ended play in the 2013 UCA Tournament with a 6-0 loss to host Central Arkansas Sunday afternoon at Farris Field.
With the loss, the Cardinals finish the two-day event with a 3-2 record and move to 6-3 overall on the year. The Bears finish the tournament with a 6-0 mark and are now 11-5 this season.
Senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter led the Ball State offense with a pair of doubles versus UCA, raising her career total to 39 which ties her for second on BSU's all-time list.
Also collecting a pair of hits each for Ball State were junior third baseman Audrey Bickel and junior first baseman Taylor Rager. Both finished the day going 2-for-3 with a double and a single.
Sophomore right fielder Hanne Stuedemann also recorded a single in the game.
In the circle, Central Arkansas' Kelsie Armstrong kept the Ball State offense in check much of the game by striking out 12 batters and scattering seven hits. Armstrong, who improved to 7-4 with the victory, recorded double-digit strikeouts in all three games she pitched over the tournament.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Steinbach suffered the loss, allowing six runs and 12 hits to fall to 2-2 this season. She would also strikeout four batters.
After a pair of scoreless innings, UCA broke onto the board first on a one-out double by Sam Forrest followed by an RBI triple from Melissa Bryant. Bryant would then score on a wild pitch.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, the Bears used back-to-back singles to score their third run of the game.
Ashley Boswell opened the fifth inning with a solo home run to push the score to 4-0, while a pinch hit RBI single from Taylor Dear drove in UCA's fifth run.
After a scoreless sixth, UCA capped the scoring in the seventh with a two-out RBI single from Amy Gunnells.
The Ball State softball team will look to snap back from today's the loss Friday, March 1, when it opens its 10-day, 11-game spring break trip to Florida versus Harvard (11 a.m.) and Florida Atlantic (4 p.m.) in the FAU Classic.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. –Kent State's softball team concluded its weekend at the Cardinal Classic with a 3-2 loss to No. 18 Louisville Sunday at Ulmer Stadium.
The Flashes' bats came to life on Sunday, matching their season-high with nine base hits. They struggled to produce runs, however, and had seven runners left on base.
After falling behind 2-0, the Golden Flashes rallied to tie the game with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Cardinals got a clutch two-out hit in the bottom of the sixth for the go-ahead run and retired the side in the top of the seventh for their seventh consecutive victory.
"I am proud of the way we battled back being down two runs and tying it in the fifth with two outs," head coach Karen Linder said about her young team. "We played very well in all phases of the game. Again, we were just missing a clutch hit that would have allowed us to go ahead."
Freshman Lauren Kesterson (Everett, Wash.) got the rally started by drawing a walk to leadoff the fifth. Sophomore Kim Kirkpatrick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) then bunted her way aboard for her second hit of the day. Two batters later, junior Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners.
The Flashes got a rare two-out hit from freshman Shelbi Tilton (Massillon, Ohio), whose single through the left side of the infield allowed Kesterson to score. A wild pitch allowed both runners to move into scoring position and prompted a pitching change for the Cardinals. Ledford, who advanced to third on Tilton's hit, scampered home on yet another wild pitch to tie the game.
Kent State's pitching staff kept Louisville's potent lineup off balance throughout the game. Junior Lauren McNeil (Akron, Ohio) and sophomore Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) limited the Cardinals to a season-low four hits.
"Our pitchers did a great job holding them to just four hits," Linder said. "And our defense did its part and made some great diving stops to help them out."
McNeil started the game for the Flashes and allowed just one hit and two runs in 1.2 innings of work. Johnson (1-4) pitched the final 4.1 innings. She gave up one run and struck out two batters.
Maggie Ruckenbrod provided the go-ahead hit for Louisville with two outs in the sixth inning. Whitney Arion drove in their other two runs with a bases loaded single in the second.
Caralisa Connell (7-1) beat the Flashes for the second time in three days. Connell appeared in relief of starter Rachel LeCoq in the fifth inning and recorded four strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
"Things are starting to come together," Linder said. "I look forward to playing next weekend to build on the growth that took place today."
Kent State travels to Tampa, Fla. next weekend for five games at the South Florida Under Armour Invitational.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Western Michigan softball book ended the 2013 Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic with wins, closing out the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Valparaiso.
The Broncos claimed their 18th win over Valparaiso to extend their lead in the all-time series to 18-4, but it was WMU's first win over Valpo since March 19, 2003.
Mackenzie Shepeck was in the circle for her second start of the tournament, and of her career. She matched her career best strikeout effort with eight punch outs but earned the win in this outing, giving up just one earned run on six hits in her first career complete game.
WMU scratched out two runs in the win, the first tying the score in the third inning on a single down the right field line off the bat of Emma Bogart. Bogart went 4-for-9 (.444) with the one RBI, appearing in two of the five games as a pinch hitter.
Diana Patterson gave WMU the lead in the top of the sixth. Bogart led off the game with her second hit of the game and advanced to second base on a Sabrina Gamboa sac bunt. Patterson hit her second double of the tournament, scoring Bogart and giving the Broncos a lead they would not relinquish.
Valpo struck first in the bottom of the second when a lead off double eventually resulted in a run. For the fourth time this tournament, WMU gave up a base on balls with the bases loaded. Valparaiso threatened in the bottom of the seventh.
With two outs, Valpo had its second double of the game but that runner was stranded at second base as the final at bat resulted in Shepeck's eighth strikeout of the game.
WMU opened the day with possibly the best game of the tournament. Becca Shemberger worked her sixth career complete game and the second one-hit effort in a game started. She gave up the lone hit to South Dakota State in the second inning but suffered the 1-0 loss in part to 11 walks allowed and also due to an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh.
WMU also registered its lone hit of the game in the second inning. Loren Nagy hit her third double of the tournament but was stranded on third after advancing on a passed ball.
The Broncos best scoring chance came in the sixth. Jenny Rohn was hit by a pitch and Elisha Handshoe reached on a fielder's choice. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Gamboa loaded the bases when she reached base by a base on balls. Patterson put a bat on the ball but Handshoe was out at third to end the threat.
The Broncos go down south next week for the first of two tournaments hosted by the University of South Florida, beginning with Georgia State at 1:15 p.m. on March 1.
DECATUR, Ga. – Akron's defense came together for five good innings but the Zips were unable to offset the four runs they gave up in the fourth in a 6-3 loss to Troy Sunday morning.
The Zips finish the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament 1-2 and move to 5-6 on the season.
"We played a clean game but we still have a lot to work on," said head coach Julie Jones. "We did not pitch well in two innings which proved to be the difference in the game. We also were unable to capitalize on a few different RBI situations that would have put serious pressure on Troy.
"We have some time to work on things we need to improve on before heading to Florida for our next tournament."
Freshman Shawna Hochstetler was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base, and Taryn Allmon followed up with a 1-for-2 showing with a RBI and a walk.
Alissa Birkhimer (3-3) and Erin Seiler split time in the circle tallying 10 strikeouts, but each gave up a homerun that propelled Troy's offense.
The Trojans got on the board first with a two-out two-RBI double from first baseman Caitlin Ortiz in the top of the first.
Akron got one back in the bottom of the second, as Rachael Ratcliffe reached first on an error by the shortstop to start the inning. Jessica Schneider's sacrifice bunt moved Ratcliffe to second, and Hochstetler grounded out to move her to third.
It was Allmon who would deliver a single to right with two down to bring Ratcliffe across and make it a one-run game.
Troy went on to score four runs on two swings in the top of the fourth, thanks to a solo shot and a three-run home run with two outs to blow the game open to 6-1.
The Zips came alive again in the fifth when Hochstetler issued a leadoff single and went on to steal second. Allmon and McKenzi Rhodes drew walks to load the bases with no outs, and the ensuing wild pitch moved them into scoring position while scoring Hochstetler.
Keelia Nester's ground out to third was enough to bring home Allmon and put UA back to within three. The Zips still had a chance to close the gap with a runner on third and one out, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the rally and the inning.
Akron found itself in the same situation an inning later with Birkhimer and Ratcliffe on first and second after a walk and a single. Schneider then reached on a fielder's choice, which put runners on the corners with just one out.
Hochstetler laid down a bunt single to load the bases, and once again two Akron strikeouts stifled any chance of a comeback.
The Zips will have a week off before traveling to Kissimmee, Fla. for the Rebel Spring Games March 8-11. Opponents on deck for Akron in Florida include Penn, Holy Cross, South Dakota, Sacred Heart, Butler, North Dakota, Lehigh and Fairleigh Dickinson.
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Bowling Green State University softball team earned another split on the second day of the Phyillis Rafter Memorial Tournament, putting the Falcons’ overall record at 3-2. The Orange and Brown fell to Jacksonville State in their first action of the day, losing to the Gamecocks by a score of 12-7. Bowling Green rebounded with a win over Campbell University in game two, defeating the Camels, 4-3.
In the first game of the day the Falcons recorded five hits, resulting in a season-high seven runs. Senior Andrea Arney recorded her first home run of the season, going 1-for-3 in the contest with three runs scored and an RBI. Junior Katie Yoho also hit her first home run of 2013, finishing the game 1-for-4 with three RBI. Freshman Marisa Shook went 1-for-3, earning her first career hit with an RBI double.
Three Falcon pitchers saw the mound against Jacksonville State, with the majority of the time going to freshman Braiden Dillow (0-1). In her first career collegiate appearance, Dillow allowed four earned runs and struck out two batters in 4.1 innings of work. Sophomore Paris Imholz started the game, but was pulled in favor of Dillow after allowing two earned runs and striking out one in the first inning of play. Fellow Sophomore Jamie Kertes finished the contest, allowing three earned runs in the final 1.1 innings.
Jacksonville State put Bowling Green in an early hole, scoring four runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. The Falcons responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame, thanks to a two-RBI single from junior Erika Stratton.
After another run from the Gamecocks in the top of the second, Arney’s solo home run in the bottom of the third pulled the Falcons back to within two.
With the score at-5-3 in favor of Jacksonville State, the Gamecocks recorded four-straight runs, crossing the plate twice in the fourth and fifth inning, respectively. The Falcons responded with their best inning of the game, scoring three runs on two hits to pull within three. Jacksonville matched the Falcon scoring frame with its own three-run inning in the top of the seventh, putting the score at 12-6 in favor of the Gamecocks. A solo home run from Yoho in the bottom the seventh inning wasn’t enough for the comeback, as the Falcons fell to Jacksonville State, 12-7.
"We had a slow start today," said head coach Shannon Slasburg. "We didn't come ready to play and Jacksonville beat us in every facet of the game.
LOUISVILLE, KY - The University at Buffalo softball team concluded play at the Cardinal Classic on Sunday morning with a 7-6 loss to Eastern Illinois. The loss drops Buffalo to 2-7 on the season.
Eastern Illinois scored the first three runs of the game, taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third when the Bulls got on the board. Freshman Ryleigh Fitzgerald hit a one-out triple, Buffalo's first three-base hit of the season. Following a groundout, junior Tori Pettine was hit by a pitch and while trying to steal second, the Panther catcher threw the ball away, scoring Buffalo's first run and putting Pettine at third. She later came in to score on a single from Andi Saucier.
EIU got one back in the top of the fourth, but the Bulls responded with three more in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Sammi Gallardo hit a one-out single and moved to second after Caitlin Dekker was hit by a pitch. A single up the middle from Jessica Griffin scored Gallardo and moved Dekker to third. Sophomore Alexis Curtiss then drove in both runs with a single to left field, putting the Bulls up, 5-4.
Buffalo added another run in the bottom of the fifth as Saucier led off with a walk and was replaced on the bases by Karly Nevez, who stole second. Nevez then came in to score as Alyssa Ward singled up the middle to score the run. Buffalo held a 6-4 advantage going into the sixth inning, but the Panthers scored three times in the top of the sixth and held on for a 7-6 win.
Freshman Dani Cowan picked up the start and went 2.1 innings, getting a no decision. Junior Heather Ryder was tagged with the loss as she allowed four runs in 2.2 innings, just two of those earned. Junior Tori Speckman pitched the final 2.0 innings, striking out three.
All six Buffalo hits came from six different players, while Saucier was on base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks.
The Bulls head to the Marshall Tournament next weekend beginning on Friday at 10:00 am against Robert Morris.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Miami University softball team overcame a three-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, but it eventually fell to Lipscomb, 11-9, in 10 innings. The game was the finale of the Frost Classic. The RedHawks fall to 2-8 on the season, while the Bison improve to 7-6.
Lipscomb struck first with four runs in the top of the third off starter Paige Myers. Megan Mattera came in to relieve her, but the Bison scored a run in the top of the fifth to make it 5-0.
Mattera helped her own cause in the bottom of the fifth with her first home run of the year, a solo shot over the centerfield wall. After Lipscomb made it 6-1 in the top of the sixth, the RedHawks responded with two more in the bottom half of the frame. Kristy Arbour led off the inning with a walk. Kayla Ledbetter than blasted her third home run of the season to make it 6-3.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Hailey Reed singled up the middle. Bree Lipscomb reached on an error by the third baseman, which moved Reed up to second. Kylie McChesney followed with a single through the right side to load the bases. An infield single by Arbour scored Reed and made it 6-4. Ledbetter than singled to right field to score McChesney and Lipscomb. After Tiyona Marshall singled to move Ledbetter up to second base, a double play by the Bison sent the game into extra innings.
Each of the extra innings was played under International Tiebreaker rules, which meant the frame started with a runner on second base. Lipscomb scored their runner in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the frame, Shanyn McIntyre was placed on second to start things off. Larrabee sacrifice bunted her over to third. A single up the middle by Mattera would score her and keep the game going.
In the ninth, the Bison once again scored their placed runner to take a 9-8 advantage. In the bottom of the inning, McChesney sacrifice bunted Lipscomb to third base. Arbour walked and then stole second to place the winning run in scoring position. Ledbetter popped up to second for the second out. Marshall hit a single to leftfield that scored Lipscomb easily. Arbour also attempted to score on the play, but the relay got her at the plate and sent the game to a 10th inning.
In the 10th inning, the Bison used a double and a triple to plate three runs and take an 11-8 lead. The RedHawks would get one back in the bottom of the frame when a sacrifice fly by Allie Larrabee scored Marshall, but they would be unable to complete another comeback as they fell, 11-9.
Ledbetter finished the game 2-for-5 with four RBI and one run scored. Mattera was 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
Miami will take next week off before traveling to Louisville, March 8-10, to participate in the Red and Black Tournament.
CHATTANOOGA, TN - The Toledo softball team lost its final game of the Frost Classic 13-4 to Boston College in five innings on Sunday morning. UT was unable to overcome eight runs in the opening frame as the Rockets fall to 1-4 on the season. Toledo is back in action on Friday, March 1 in a rematch versus Eastern Kentucky (lost 9-2 on Saturday) at the Under Armour Invitational hosted by No. 14 South Florida in Clearwater, FL.
The Midnight Blue & Gold fell behind early in Sunday's contest after Boston College racked up eight runs on eight hits to begin the game. Freshman Marla Gooding managed just two outs in her third career start in the circle, as UT's young pitchers struggled mightily over the weekend. Their weakness has been the number of walks allowed. The freshman/sophomore duo combined to throw 17 walks in just 27.2 innings pitched over the opening weekend.
A positive take out of Sunday's game came from Toledo's hitters who performed well following a forgettable three-hit showing in the previous game versus EKU.
Senior right fielder Lindsey Tobias continued her early-season hot streak at the plate with two triples and two runs batted in. The 2012 All-MAC First Team performer has hit safely in all five games for a .538 average (7-for-13) with a three triples, six runs knocked in, five runs scored, one double and one home run. Her three triples are the highest season total for a Rocket since Katie Ricchio finished with six three-baggers in 2010.
Sophomore Leigh Nebendahl's bat also caught fire over the weekend with a team-and-career -high four doubles. The UT first baseman posted a .533 average (8-for-15) with three runs batted in. On Sunday, Nebendahl went 2-for-3 from the dish and scored Tobias twice with a double in the second and single in the third.
Senior center fielder Kristen Roznoski (1-3), sophomore left fielder Alyssa Smith (1-2) and junior designated hitter Erinn Wright (1-3) produced the rest of Toledo's hits.
Boston College led off the game with four consecutive hits off Gooding. Megan Cooley and CJ Chirichigno reached on singles and Maria Pandolfo blasted a three-run shot over the fence to make the score 3-0.
The next batter doubled, and with one out, the Eagles scored the fourth run on a single up the middle. After turning the lineup over with two outs, Cooley singled up the middle to score two and Chirichigno doubled for two more for a commanding 8-0 lead after one.
Tobias started the second inning with her first triple to right center and Nebendahl followed with a double to the same spot, putting the Rockets on the board with a run.
Beery put the Eagles down in order in the third and UT tacked on three more runs in the bottom half to get back in the game. Roznoski started a two-out rally with an infield single to the left side and Erinn Wright singled to bring up Tobias, who tripled again to right field, scoring both runners and cutting the BC lead to four, 8-4.
The Eagles homered off Beery in the fourth and fifth, increasing the lead to nine and putting the game out of reach. The game ended after five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule.
BC used three pitchers as starter Chelsea Dimon (3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB) earned the win. Gooding (1-2) was charged with the loss.
UT finished with seven hits and left four runners on base. The Eagles stranded five runners and totaled 12 hits.
Next weekend's tournament will run Friday-Sunday, March 1-3 in Clearwater, FL. Toledo is scheduled to play Eastern Kentucky, Maine, Illinois, South Florida and Loyola-Chicago.