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Softball Splits Twinbill with ONU, Wins Series

Photo by Randy Sarvis
Photo by Randy Sarvis


WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Wilmington College softball team withstood a seventh-inning rally from Ohio Northern University (ONU) to take game on 5-4 of an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) twinbill on Sunday. The Polar Bears won game two 11-2.

In game one, both teams had just a single hit in the first two innings as Wilmington starter Hayley Suchland had three strikeouts and ONU starter Allie Bican tallied two strikeouts. A 1-6-3 double play ended the Polar Bears' third inning, and the Fightin' Quakers' offense got things going in the bottom half of the inning.
Andrea Edmisten and Kennedy Clifton set the table via a hit by pitch and a base on balls respectively, and Megan Crager put down a sacrifice bunt that turned into a single as she beat out the throw to first to load the bases. Suchland then cleared the bases with a two-RBI double alongside an ONU error. Arianna Layne, the very next batter, drove home Suchland to give the hosts a 4-0 lead.
Suchland, who thanks to the double play had faced the minimum through four innings, moved to shortstop after a walk and wild pitch in the fifth. Lindsey Carter came in to pitch from left field, and got out of the inning surrendering just one run on a sacrifice fly from Hannah Rubel.
Wilmington got the run back in the bottom of the sixth. Alecia Kemp, who led off the inning, beat out a throw with an infield single. Olivia Doll advanced Kemp into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and Kemp was driven in by an RBI-single from Courtney Michalak.
Trailing 5-1, the Polar Bears rallied in the top of the seventh. An error opened the inning with three straight singles scored two runs. With runners on first and second, Alicia Swierz singled to center field, but Crager got the ball in quickly to keep a run from scoring. A lineup and a fielder's choice that got the runner out via a force at home plate followed, but another single got ONU with in a run (5-4) and kept the bases loaded. Sydney Motylinski the hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop. Suchland fielded it and dove to get the game-winning force out at third base.
Suchland earned the win striking out five and allowing just one run in 4.1 innings. Alexis Stringfellow, who relieved Carter in the seventh, earned the save despite allowing three hits and one unearned run. Allie Bican dipped to 1-4 on the season for ONU, allowing five earned runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.
Both teams finished with eight hits. Crager finished 2-for-3 with a run scored at the top of Wilmington's lineup while Suchland's double, the only extra-base hit of the game for either side, scored two runs. A trio of Polar Bears – Abby Elliot, Gabby Stewart and Swierz – all hit two singles.
In the nightcap, ONU scored a single run in each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. Wilmington could not solve Polar Bear starter Stacey Walters for the first five innings, and the visitors got into the host's bullpen in the fourth. Starter Stringfellow, who got the save in game one, left after recording one out in the fourth. Hannah Hall relieved Suchland and got out of the inning after three Polar Bear runs crossed the plate.
After a scoreless inning from both teams in the fifth, ONU threatened to end the game in the sixth by plating three runs, but Wilmington extended the game to seven innings by plating runs on a Polar Bear error and an RBI-single from McKenna Archey in the bottom of the inning.
ONU added two more runs on a home run in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.
Walters went the distance for ONU, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. Stringfellow was one of four Quakers pitchers to play, taking the loss allowing five earned runs on six hits in 3.1 innings pitched.
Seven Quakers tallied one hit in game two with Layne and Doll's hits being doubles. Sydney Motylinski led the way for the Polar Bears, finished 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs, four runs scored and two walks.

Wilmington (15-13, 14-10 OAC) will face John Carroll University in a four-game series next weekend.