After losing 4-2 in the opener of its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Ferris State on Monday (April 22), Ashland University's softball team came back for the split with a 3-1 victory in Game 2.
The Eagles, who are headed for their 21st GLIAC Tournament in 24 seasons in the conference, move to 29-19 overall and 14-12 in the league with three regular-season doubleheaders remaining. The Bulldogs are 19-29, 10-18.
Ashland broke the nightcap's scoreless tie in the top of the fifth, when senior first baseman Kylie Asmus came up with a two-out RBI single. The Eagles scored two more two-out runs in the top of the sixth – one on an RBI single by sophomore shortstop Abigail Butler and the other when senior center fielder Erika Farst reached first base on an FSU error.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs scored their run, but got no closer, as senior pitcher Hannah Stroe (14-10) finished the game for her third victory in a four-day span. Stroe authored a complete-game five-hitter, allowing a run and no walks and striking out five.
Sophomore catcher Emma Lawson was 3-for-4, Asmus was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Butler was 2-for-3 with a double, run scored and RBI.
The Bulldogs jumped in front of the Eagles in the first game, scoring four times in the bottom of the first inning. Ashland posted a run in the top of the second on an RBI infield single by Farst, then cut its deficit to 4-2 in the top of the sixth thanks to a two-out run-scoring single from Lawson.
In the top of the seventh, with runners on second and third and two outs, the Eagles were unable to get the tying runs plateward.
Lawson was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and upped her season batting average to .371 after Monday's play, while Farst was 2-for-3 while driving in a run. Sophomore pitcher Laney Jones (13-9) settled in after the first, and gave up six hits, four runs and two walks and struck out three in six innings.
The Eagles took three of four games from the Bulldogs in the 2019 regular season.
Ashland will play its final 2019 games at Brookside Park on Tuesday (April 23) at 3 p.m. vs. Parkside (7-39, 4-20).