Eagles Walk Off to Finish Twinbill Sweep at Lake Erie

Tawna Garver

ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University softball team twice overcame a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Lake Erie on Wednesday (April 4) afternoon to beat the Storm, 7-5. AU also won Game 1, 4-2.

Down by two runs in the bottom of the seventh of Game 2, sophomore second baseman Cayla Seidler (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) started the inning with a single on the infield. Freshman catcher Jerrica Young (Loudonville, Ohio) followed that with a game-tying, two-run home run. It was Young's fifth home run of the season.

Then with two out and senior third baseman Alyssa Kelley (Mentor, Ohio) on base after a single, junior designated player Tawna Garver (Mansfield, Ohio/Hillsdale) slugged a walk-off two-run home run to send the Eagles to the win. The home run was Garver's fifth of the year.

The Eagles (28-6, 12-2 GLIAC) trailed 3-0 after three innings after the Storm (5-24, 2-10 GLIAC) scored a single run in each of the first three frames.

Ashland overcame that deficit in the bottom of the fourth inning as sophomore outfielder Kourtney Yarnall (Canton, Ohio/Perry) delivered a sacrifice fly and junior outfielder Kaely Stucin (Dover, Ohio) ripped a two-run double.

The game was tied until the seventh when the Storm took a 5-3 lead after a pair of RBI singles by Julia Brotzman and Ali Heming.

Freshman right-hander Amber McDermott (Creston, Ohio/Norwayne) improved her record to 7-2 with the win. She allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits in a complete game. She walked four and struck out eight. Dawn Ondercin took the loss for the Storm, giving up all four unearned runs in the seventh.

Seidler, Stucin and senior shortstop Bri Woody (Cleveland, Ohio/Magnificat) had two hits apiece for the Eagles.

Ashland also won Game 1 over the Storm, but in less dramatic fashion. The Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Young reached on an infield single and junior first baseman Franki Gironda (Akron, Ohio/Hoban) clipped a two-run homer – her third of the season.

Lake Erie got one run back in the second inning off AU starter Emlyn Knerem (Brunswick, Ohio), but the Eagles scored two more in the third inning. Gironda followed a Kelley single with a double and Kelley came around to score on an error by LEC second baseman Fayth Atkins. Freshman outfielder Taylor Menhart (Twinsburg, Ohio) followed with an RBI double to left center that scored Gironda.

A sacrifice fly by the Storm in the sixth made the score 4-2.

Knerem continued to improve on her perfect record (19-0) with the win. She struck out 11 and walked none in a complete game. Ondercin surrendered four runs on eight hits in the loss. She walked one and struck out one.

Gironda was the only Eagle with two hits in the day's first game.

The Eagles will get back on the field on Thursday (April 5) at 3:30 p.m. when they host GLIAC South foe Ohio Dominican at Brookside Park in a doubleheader.

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