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April 3, 2012

Graham Posts Two Hit Shutout As Express Sweep Tiffin JV

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Tiffin, OH---Kasey Graham pitched a two-hitter to close out another doubleheader sweep for the Express softball team as they defeated Tiffin University JV 4-2 and 10-0 Tuesday afternoon.

Game 1: Owens 4 Tiffin JV 2

The Express got four runs in the first two innings, and it lasted, as the Express pitching duo of Ashlyn Michalak and Lexi Sheets kept the Tiffin offense quiet for the most part.

In the first inning, Melanie Iacoangeli doubled down the left field line, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Sydney Barron.

Then, in the second, the Express scored three more. Hannah Morrison doubled to left center leading off. After a groundout, Mareshah Scott singled to put runners on first and third. Hallie Thompson then doubled to centerfield to score Morrison and put runners on second and third. Following a walk by Iacoangeli, Tabitha Britt hit a two-run double to left field that scored Scott and Thompson.

Michalak started for the Express and went the first three innings. She allowed one hit and two walks while striking out four in the no decision. Sheets (4-1), who started the fourth inning, picked up the win in relief as she allowed three hits, two runs (one earned), and one walk while striking out two.

Britt finished 2-for-3 with two runs and a double, while Thompson was 2-for-3 with a double, one run scored and an RBI. Mareshah Scott, who finished 1-for-3 with a run scored, added the lone stolen base for the Express.

Game 2: Owens 10 Tiffin JV 0

Graham dominated in the circle, while the Express offense scored five runs in the fifth inning to close out a 10-0, five inning win.

Owens opened with two runs in the first when Britt singled and Barron walked with one out to set up a two-out, two run double by Morrison.

In the second, the Express added three more. Scott singled to second base leading off. One out later, Michelle Hollister doubled her home to make it 3-0. The next batter, Iacoangeli, singled home Hollister to make it 4-0. On the single by Iacoangeli, a throwing error allowed her to move to third. She would then score on another error to make it 5-0.

Meanwhile, Graham was dealing. After retiring the side in order in the first, she allowed a single before an error put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to third, but it wasn't a problem for Graham as she struck the next two batters out to end the inning. She would allow only two more base runners the rest of the game – one on a single and another on an error.

In five innings, Graham allowed two hits while striking out five. She moved to 3-0 this year with the win and lowered her season ERA to 1.64. Of the 15 outs she recorded, nine came on ground balls, five came on strikeouts and only one came in the air – an infield pop out to third that ended the game.

The Express also took advantage of a sloppy Tiffin defense that had five errors. Those errors produced six unearned runs, including all five in the fifth. In that fifth inning, the Express had three walks and two hits. RBIs came from Hollister on a bases loaded walk, Iacoangeli on a single through the right side, and Katie Butler on a sacrifice fly. Owens sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

Iacoangeli led the offense in the second game as she finished 3-for-4 with two runs, one RBI and a stolen base. Other top performers included: Morrison, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a double, Britt, who went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base, and Hollister, who was 1-for-2 with two runs, two RBIs, one double and a walk.

As a team, the Express offense went 9-for-26 with seven RBIs, two doubles, three stolen bases and five walks.

The top two batters in the Express lineup, Iacoangeli and Britt, reached base in seven of their eight plate appearances.

Notes

Britt was 4-for-6 with a run and three RBIs in the two games, while Morrison was 3-for-7 with a run and two RBIs. Iacoangeli was 4-for-5 with three runs and one RBI.

Express pitching has only allowed 20 earned runs in 15 games this year. One of those 15 games is suspended and will be resumed later.

With the two wins against Tiffin, the Express are now 13-1 overall. They are scheduled to open conference play on the road Wednesday against Cuyahoga Community College.