By the time second baseman Cayla Seidler walked to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday (Apr. 23) at Brookside Park, the AU softball team had seen more zeroes than Duluth in mid-February.
When Seidler stepped up to the plate to face Tawna Whited, AU was trailing, 2-0 and had been shut out in 20 consecutive innings. Seidler proved to be a one-woman warming trend. Her one-out, three-run homer to center field gave the Eagles a 3-2 win.
With one out in the inning, outfielder Shelbie Prince singled. Shortstop Jamie Weber reached on an error that sent Prince to third. That's when Seidler belted the homer that set off a celebration on the AU side of the field.
Seidler is hitting .386 with a team-high .622 slugging percentage. She has three homers and 20 extra base hits.
Unfortunately for AU, the momentum from that walk-off homer couldn't be sustained in the second game. Findlay came back to shut out the Eagles, 2-0. Ashland is 22-15 and 11-9 in the GLIAC. Findlay is 20-15 and 11-11.
It's no easy task trying to decipher what's going on with these Eagles right now. AU is fighting to get into the eight-team GLIAC Tournament and is ranked fifth in the Midwest Region. The top eight teams in the region advance to the NCAA playoffs. So much is left to be decided down the stretch of this season. Later this week the Eagles play at Ohio Dominican, at Tiffin and at Ferris. Tiffin and FSU are fighting like crazy to reach the league tournament too.
AU had six hits in that first game win. Amber McDermott gave the Eagles six good innings against the Oilers, allowing two runs - one earned - on three hits. She walked one and fanned six. The win went to Brittany Flanigan (4-3), who pitched one scoreless inning.
Prince and first baseman Jen Moore had two hits each for AU.
In the second game, the Eagles scratched out five hits against Bonnie Zappitelli (3-1). AU's Sarah Alley (8-7) held Findlay to three hits. The difference once again was the long ball. UF shortstop Emily Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the first inning and that was it for the scoring.
AU center fielder Taylor Menhart was 2-for-2.
The Eagles stranded six runners in the second game. UF left five on base.