Here's a welcome sight those connected with the AU softball team haven't seen much this year. After the Eagles swept Lake Erie on Tuesday (Apr. 2) at Brookside Park, pitchers Amber McDermott (Creston, Ohio/Norwayne), Sarah Alley (New Milford, Ohio) and head coach Sheilah Gulas all needed ice for their arms.
McDermott and Alley pitched gems as the Eagles silenced the Storm, 8-0 in five innings and 11-1 in six innings. Gulas spent much of the afternoon waving runners around third base. This is one of the few times this season the Eagles have hit and pitched in combination with such gusto.
The marriage of these two parts of the game couldn't come at a better team for Ashland. The sweep pushes AU above .500 at 13-12. The Eagles are 7-3 in GLIAC action and have won three straight games and five of their last six games.
In the first game, McDermott held the Storm scoreless on two hits. She didn't walk a batter and struck out four in improving to 2-3.
The Eagles backed the sophomore with nine hits. The only Ashland player with more than one hit was catcher Tawna Garver (Mansfield, Ohio/Hillsdale), who was 2-for-3. Designated player Jen Moore (Jeromesville, Ohio/Hillsdale) and right fielder Kourtney Yarnall (Canton, Ohio/Perry) homered and both players had two RBI. Second baseman Cayla Seidler (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon Washington) and center fielder Taylor Menhart (Twinsburg, Ohio) doubled.
AU led, 4-0 after three innings. Four runs in the bottom of the fourth gave McDermott plenty of room to cruise to the five-inning victory.
In the second game, the Storm (2-14/0-6) got to Alley for a run in the first inning. That score came on an errant throw to third on a pickoff play. After that, Lake Erie couldn't solve Alley. She went six innings and allowed a run on three hits. She walked one and struck out four. The sophomore is 9-4.
AU led, 3-1 after three innings. The Eagles scored four times in the fourth inning and four times in the sixth. Moore went 2-for-2 with a double and drove in two more runs, giving her four for the day. Ashland lashed out five doubles and a homer. Seider had the circuit clout and one of the two-baggers. All of those extra-base knocks came against starter and loser Dawn Ondercin (1-5). The Eagles had 13 hits in the second game.
The Eagles go on the road this weekend to face Findlay (Saturday, Apr. 6) and Hillsdale (Sunday, Apr. 7). AU returns home next Wednesday (Apr. 10, 3:30 p.m.) to host Walsh.