Ashland University's softball team played its first non-Florida games of the 2015 season on Wednesday (March 18), sweeping a doubleheader at Urbana, 9-7 and 9-2 in five innings and improving to 13-1.
In Game 1, the Eagles had a 6-2 lead after five innings, but had to hold on for the victory. Senior pitcher Amber McDermott moved to 5-0 after striking out six and allowing four hits, two runs and three walks in five innings. Junior pitcher Brittany Flanigan picked up her second save after striking out four and allowing two hits and two runs in two innings.
Ashland had 12 hits in the opener, paced by junior catcher Bri Buckley (2-for-4, home run), senior center fielder Taylor Menhart (2-for-4, triple), junior third baseman Kayla Prokopakis (2-for-3, double) and junior right fielder Shelbie Prince (2-for-4, RBI). Senior Sarah Alley drove in two runs in a pinch-hitting role.
In the darkness-shortened nightcap, the Eagles used a six-run fourth inning to pull away. Menhart was 3-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBIs, and sophomore second baseman Kalene Freshour was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Ashland had 10 hits, seven for extra bases (six doubles, home run).
Flanigan improved to 4-0 after three innings in which she struck out three and allowed one hit, one run and five walks. Alley got the save, going two innings and yielding three hits, a run and three walks while striking out four.
Ashland, one spot short of entering the Top 25 of this week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II poll, is scheduled to begin Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at Brookside Park on Saturday (March 21) at 1 p.m. against Ohio Dominican.