Tiffin Pitching Gives Eagles The Chills

In some relationships, one way of getting a point across is to give the cold shoulder

            The Tiffin softball team used a variation of that on Friday (Apr. 29). They gave the Ashland University Eagles a cold bat on the shoulder.  At this point, the Eagles are still thawing out.

            Tiffin, ranked third in the region, swept a doubleheader from the Eagles, 5-3 and 5-0 at Paradiso Fields in Tiffin.  AU scored three runs on 10 hits in the twinbill. Combine that with the last game of Wednesday's doubleheader with Lake Erie when AU scored a run on four hits, and here's what you have, over the last three games the Eagles have scored four runs on 14 hits.

            That's a bitter chill pill for a team that began Friday hitting .322 as a team and averaging 7.3 runs per game. But Tiffin (31-12/22-6 GLIAC) cooled off the Eagles (27-13/19-5) behind the pitching of Mindy Meredith and Amber Young.  Meredith (12-3), a freshman, won the opener, holding the Eagles to three runs (none earned) on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Young (9-4), a sophomore, subdued the Eagles with a complete-game three-hitter. She walked two and struck out eight.

            The Eagles spent all day playing from behind.  In the opener, the Dragons scored single runs in each of the first three innings.  Tiffin led, 5-0 before Ashland rallied to score three times in the top of the seventh inning. AU had one hit over the first six innings. In the second game, the Eagles had one hit through the first five innings. Tiffin scored three times in the second inning and twice in the seventh. Ashland is 23-2 when it scores first and 4-11 when the opponent breaks out on top.

            In the first game, the Dragons defeated junior Emlyn Knerem (Brunswick, Ohio), getting to her for five runs on nine hits.  Knerem (21-5) is a power pitcher who has ranked among the best in the country in strikeouts for the last three years. On this day, the Dragons really made her work.  Knerem walked two and struck out four.

            Tiffin shortstop Meagan Baird rapped her third homer of the season and Meredith helped her own cause by going 2-for-3 with two RBI.  The only AU player with more than one hit in the game was center fielder Lyndsey Brandt (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside).  The senior was 2-for-4 and singled in one run. Ashland's other runs in the seventh inning came on a fielder's choice and a wild pitch.

            In the second game, the Dragons used run-scoring singles by Lesy Herbert and Lauren Mazzuca and a wild pitch to score three times.  All of those runs came off of starter and loser Logan Hursey (Zanesville, Ohio/John Glenn).  She went the distance and allowed five runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Hursey is 2-8.

            Friday's doubleheader was the first of three key twinbills the Eagles have this weekend.  Saturday (Apr. 30), the Eagles play two more games at Tiffin. On Sunday (May 1), Ashland plays a doubleheader at Wayne State. WSU is ranked eighth in the region and Ashland is ninth.  The Eagles and Warriors have split two games this season.