The University of Findlay softball team traveled to Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday, March 29th for a double header against the Panthers of Ohio Dominican University. The Oilers won the first game 1-0, but fell in the second game 4-3. The loss snapped a nine game winning streak and gave Findlay their first loss in conference play. The Oilers are now 19-9 on the season and 5-1 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
The first game was a pitcher's duel, as both teams registered five hits each. No teams recorded a hit or a base runner until the bottom of the fourth inning when Ohio Dominican singled. They were unable to convert as the inning ended with three straight groundouts.
In the top of the fifth, the Oilers were finally able to get runners on base. Junior Lauren Trumpler led off the inning with a single and junior Katie Dunphy followed up with a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position with one out. After a line out, junior Kelsey Borders loaded the bases with a walk. A strike out would end the inning and leave the runners stranded.
The Panthers threatened in the bottom of the fifth, as they had the bases loaded with two outs. Findlay's defense held and they were able to get out of the jam without giving up a run after they forced a groundout to third base.
The Oilers came up with two hits in the top of the sixth, but still couldn't get on the scoreboard. With one down, sophomore Cassidy Ghesquiere and sophomore Kelley Cejer recorded back-to-back singles. The inning came to end with a double play by the Panthers.
In the top of the seventh, Dunphy started it off with a double. With two outs, Borders singled to right field and Dunphy scored what proved to be the game winning run to put the Oilers up 1-0.
Ohio Dominican didn't go down without a fight. The Panthers had bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Again, the Oilers defense came up in a big way with a strikeout to end the game.
Freshman Hailey Bryan (7-5) picked up the win for the Oilers, as she pitched six innings giving up four hits, no runs, no walks and had one strikeout. Sophomore Chelsea McManaway picked up her second save on the season as she came in to close out the game in the final inning. She finished the inning giving up one hit and striking out two.
At the plate, the Oilers were led by Dunphy who finished the game 1-for-2 with a double, Borders (1-for-2, one RBI), and Ghesquiere (1-for-1).
The Oilers win streak came to an end in the second game when Ohio Dominican took the lead with a two run fifth inning.
In the top of the first, the Panthers got on the scoreboard from a throwing error to take a 1-0 lead.
Findlay responded in the bottom half of the inning when senior Brooke Scherger reached on a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 1-1.
Ohio Dominican tacked on another run in the top of the second to go up 2-1.
The Oilers would respond in the bottom of the second. Freshman Rebecca Harvey walked and sophomore Amanda Delmonte singled. With two outs, Scherger cleared the bases with a triple to give Findlay their first lead at 3-2. The inning would come to a close with a fly out to left field.
In the top of the fifth, Ohio Dominican regained the lead from a two run home run by Kelsey Albanese. The Panthers led 4-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Both offenses struggled to get anything going the rest of the game. In the bottom of the seventh, the Oilers got a runner on second base, but they were unable to bring her home to fall 4-3.
Junior Jenna Inman started on the mound for the Oilers. She pitched one inning giving up two runs (one earned), on one hit, and two walks. McManaway (11-2) recorded the loss for Findlay, as she pitched four innings, giving up four hits, two runs, one walk, while striking out three. Bryan pitched the final two innings and gave up one hit.
At the plate, the Oilers were led by Scherger who finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.
The Oilers return to the playing field on Thursday, March 31st for a home double header against the University of Northwestern Ohio at Anderson Field at The Cube. The first game is scheduled to begin at 3pm.