Non-conference does not equal non-competitive.
Tuesday (Apr. 16) at Brookside Park, the Ashland University softball team held off Notre Dame, 6-5 in a non-conference game. This was AU's last out-of-GLIAC date of the season. This was scheduled as a doubleheader but the second game was called in the second inning due to rain.
Every time the Eagles (20-13) looked like they could relax, the Falcons (12-14) battled back and put themselves in a position to win. Ashland scored five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead. The Falcons answered that with three runs in the six to cut the margin to 6-4.
In the top of the seventh, Notre Dame's Nicole Spuhler led off with a walk and moved to third on a single by Christine Kasidonis. Kasidonis went to second on the throw at the end of the play.
Kayla Sidorski produced a sacrifice fly to left field to score Nicole Spuhler. On the play, Kasidonis tried to move from second to third. A perfect throw from left fielder Carly West (Ashland, Ohio/Hillsdale) to shortstop Jamie Weber (Orient, Ohio/Teays Valley) stopped Kasidonis in her tracks midway between second and third. She tried to retreat to second and was tagged out by third baseman Jerrica Young (Loundonville, Ohio).
That finally neutralized the Falcons, who had eight hits and left nine runners on base. Starter and winner Amber McDermott (Creston, Ohio/Norwayne) went seven innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. She walked three and hit five batters. McDermott did not have the luxury of a one-two-three inning in the game.
AU's first run came home on a second inning single by catcher Tawna Garver (Mansfield, Ohio/Hillsdale). In the fifth, Garver singled and scored on a base hit by second baseman Cayla Seidler (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon Washington). Center fielder Taylor Menhart (Twinsburg, Ohio) had a run-producing double in the inning. The big blow was a three-run homer by designated player Jen Moore (Jeromesville, Ohio/Hillsdale). Moore has team highs in homers (six) and RBI (28).
Seidler, West and Garver finished with two hits apiece. For Notre Dame, Jessica Cavallero was 3-for-4 and knocked in a pair of runs. Kasidonis was 2-for-4.
Ashley Harbarger (5-5) took the loss. She went 4.1 innings and allowed four runs on five hits.
The Eagles have a five-game winning streak and have won nine of their last 10 games and 11 of their last 13 assignments. Next up comes a weekend journey to Saginaw Valley State (Apr. 20) and Wayne State (Apr. 21).