Eagles Sweep Chargers At Home, Close In On GLIAC Lead

Eagles Sweep Chargers At Home, Close In On GLIAC Lead

Ashland University's softball team had to wait some time for the two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference wins it earned on Thursday (April 16) at home against Hillsdale.

They were worth the wait.

Thursday was the third time the Eagles and Chargers were scheduled to play at Brookside Park this spring, and AU also had to wait an extra inning in Game 2 to come away with a sweep. In the end, Ashland earned 9-0 (five innings) and 5-1 (eight innings) victories to move to 29-5 overall and 14-4 in the GLIAC.

AU has the best overall record in the conference, and is 1½ games behind Wayne State for first place in the league. In a little more than 24 hours, Ashland climbed up the GLIAC ladder from fifth place to second.

The Eagles, ranked No. 25 in Division II, have won eight games in a row, and also have earned more wins in 2015 than they had in 2014 (27). Ashland also is 3-0 in extra innings this spring, and two of those victories have been the come-from-behind variety.

In Game 1, Ashland scored all of its runs in the first three innings. Both senior center fielder Taylor Menhart and junior first baseman Jen Moore had three RBIs, Moore was 2-for-2 with a double and a home run and Menhart was 3-for-3.

Junior pitcher Sarah Alley improved to 8-0 and extended her consecutive scoreless innings streak to 35 with four frames of four-hit ball and three strikeouts.

Game 2 saw the Eagles give up a run in the bottom of the first, then wait until the top of the seventh to tie the contest at 1. Alley's pinch-RBI single scored junior third baseman Kayla Prokopakis with the tying run.

In the top of the eighth, Prokopakis' squeeze bunt plated junior designated player Bri Buckley, then senior catcher Jerrica Young hit a three-run homer to cap the inning off.

Young and sophomore second baseman Kalene Freshour each had two of Ashland's 10 hits. Junior Brittany Flanigan pitched two scoreless innings to up her record to 8-2, and give her a win and two saves in a little more than 24 hours.

Ashland will continue its six-game homestand with a doubleheader against Tiffin on Sunday (April 19) at noon. The twinbill against the Dragons will be the Eagles' Senior Day.