The Ashland University softball team opened the 2013 season by splitting a pair of games in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday (Feb. 23).
The Eagles lost their season opener, 2-1 against Lincoln Memorial. In the second game of the day, the Eagles blanked Bellarmine, 4-0.
Against LMU, senior first baseman Franki Gironda (Akron, Ohio/Hoban) singled to drive in AU's only run of the game. The Railsplitters retaliated with two runs in the second inning. That finished all the scoring in the game.
Sophomore Amber McDermott (Creston, Ohio/Norwayne) took the loss. She went five innings and allowed four hits. McDermott walked one and struck out six. Freshman Zoe Myers (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) pitched one scoreless inning. McDermott was 12-6 a year ago and is Ashland's most experienced pitcher.
In the nightcap, AU carried a 1-0 lead into the top of the seventh inning. The Eagles broke the game open in that last frame with three runs. Gironda had a run-scoring single in that stanza and junior outfielder Kourtney Yarnall (Canton, Ohio/Perry) belted a two-run homer. Yarnall had two homers a year ago.
Sophomore third baseman Jerrica Young (Loudonville, Ohio) was 3-for-4. Yarnall, Gironda, sophomore outfielder Carly West (Ashland, Ohio/Hillsdale) and freshman catcher Jen Moore (Jeromesville, Ohio/Hillsdale) all went 2-for-4. The Eagles had 12 hits.
Sophomore left-hander Sarah Alley (Milford, Ohio) pitched a complete game two-hitter. She walked one and whiffed seven. This was the first victory of Alley's collegiate career. She missed all of last season due to injury.
Tanner Tevis (1-2) was saddled with the loss. She gave the Knights a route-going effort. Tevis walked two and struck out three.
On Sunday (Feb. 24), AU will play LMU and Bellarmine again.