A lengthy run through the consolation bracket of the 2016 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament resulted in Ashland University's softball team's advancement to the championship game for the first time in five years.
On Sunday (May 1) morning in Findlay, Ohio, after winning 4-1 in 12 innings in the conclusion of a suspended game with the host Oilers, the Eagles finished as tourney runners-up after a 5-1 loss to top-seeded Wayne State in the title game.
Ashland, which started the season at 10-13 after 23 games and was the GLIAC Tournament's No. 5 seed, concludes the conference tourney at 29-23-1.
The victory against Findlay was a game resumed on Sunday morning in the top of the eighth. The Eagles and Oilers had played to a 1-1 tie through seven innings on Saturday (April 30).
On and on the game went until the bottom of the 12th, when senior first baseman Jen Moore hit a walk-off three-run home run, her seventh round-tripper of the season.
Moore was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and junior center fielder Ally Farrah and senior catcher Bri Buckley each also had two hits. Senior pitcher Sarah Alley improved to 17-8 after going all 12 innings, allowing four hits, a run and six walks and striking out seven.
It was the Eagles' longest game since a 13-inning, 4-3 home win against Saginaw Valley State on April 9, 2005 – a game which featured 20 strikeouts by pitcher Jaime Williams and a game-winning RBI single by Angie Westenkirchner after almost playing the equivalent of two full games.
The championship game saw the Warriors (46-7) score twice in the bottom of the second and thrice in the sixth. Ashland's run came in the third when Farrah tripled and scored on a Wayne State error.