Eagles Make The Most Out Of A Little

If the price of gasoline keeps rising, consumers may be forced to resort to gas rationing.

            Wayne State pitcher Lauren McLaughlin did a fine job of rationing out hits to the Ashland University softball team on Friday (May 6) in the first round of the GLIAC Tournament at Northwood.  McLaughlin limited the Eagles to three hits, but that wasn't enough to prevent AU from posting a 4-2 victory.

            The Eagles move on to play at 4 p.m., on Friday.  They get the winner of the Ferris State-Saginaw Valley State game, which started at noon.

            With the win, Ashland (30-15) improved to 4-1 against Wayne State (28-24-1) this season.  As was the case last Sunday in Detroit when the Eagles took a doubleheader from the Warriors, every mistake WSU made was magnified. There's paying the price at the pump and then there's paying the price for costly errors against a team seeded second in the tournament.  On Friday, Wayne State was guilty of four errors and those miscues, along with timely hitting on Ashland's part, sent the Warriors to the loser's bracket.

            Wayne State took a 1-0 lead against AU starter and winner Emlyn Knerem (Brunswick, Ohio) in the fourth inning. Becca Ryan singled to drive in Alison Allen, who had opened the inning with a single. 

            AU tied the game in the fifth inning when second baseman Cayla Seidler (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon Washington) scored on an infield error. Seidler led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Tawna Garver (Mansfield, Ohio/Hillsdale). A ground ball to first base by first baseman Franki Gironda (Akron, Ohio/Hoban) advanced Seidler to third, where she scored when a ground ball by Erica Miller (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) was mishandled.

            Wayne State regained the lead, 2-1 in the top of the sixth when Ryan singled home Brittany Omelanchuk, who had doubled.

            The bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the game's turning point. Ashland used two hits and three Wayne State errors to scored three runs.  Shortstop Bri Woody (Cleveland, Ohio/Magnificat) scored the first run of the inning on an error and the last two runs scored on a double down the right-field line by Garver.

            Knerem encountered little trouble in the seventh to nail down the win. One batter reached on a fielder's choice, but that was it for the Warriors.  Knerem is 23-6, which ties the victory total she had last season.  She allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

            McLaughlin pitched a complete game and all four runs against her were unearned. She did not issue a walk and struck out three.

            Ashland is 2-0 this season against Ferris State and did not play Saginaw Valley State. AU has won the GLIAC Tournament three times. The last time that happened was in 1998.