Britt and Hollister Hit Grand Slams, Barron Adds a Solo Shot As No. 10 Express Rout Lakeland CC
By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Game 1: Owens 15 Lakeland 7 (6 Innings)
Hollister's sixth inning grand slam ended any thoughts Lakeland had of a comeback as the Express racked up 18 hits.
The Express offense scored early and often against Lakeland starter Kara Fitzgerald. After Melanie Iacoangeli singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Barron in the first, an eight run second inning broke the game open.
Mareshah Scott opened the inning with a triple, and Hallie Thompson knocked her home with a single in the next at bat. Other run scoring plays included an RBI double by Hollister, a double steal by Iacoangeli and Hollister that included a steal of home by Hollister, an RBI single by Barron, a two-run single by Alyssa Lassey, an RBI double by Hannah Morrison, and another RBI single by Thompson.
Lakeland then scored two runs in the bottom of the second off Express starter Ashlyn Michalak, who ended up having her worst outing of the season. Coincidentally, Michalak picked up her only loss last season in relief at Lakeland.
The Express would add an RBI double from Morrison in the third and an RBI single by Iacoangeli in the fourth to take an 11-2 lead through four and a half. However, needing three more outs to end the game, Michalak allowed a three run homer to right field by Ashley Puscian to trim the lead to 11-5. The ball actually bounced off the top of the fence before going over.
Kasey Graham relieved Michalak after the next batter reached on an error and got out of the inning without any further damage.
Then, in the sixth, Thompson and Amanda Sinay reached on errors while Scott singled to load the bases. That set up Hollister's grand slam to center field to make it 15-5.
Graham allowed two unearned runs in the seventh to end the scoring.
There was plenty of offensive stars for the Express as Hollister was 3-for-4 with two runs, two doubles, a grand slam and five RBIs, Scott was 3-for-4 with two runs and a triple, Iacoangeli was 3-for-4 with two runs, an RBI, a walk and five stolen bases, Barron was 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs, Lassey was 1-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base, Morrison was 2-for-3 with a run, two RBIs, two doubles and walk, and Thompson was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Michalak picked up the win and moved to 16-1 this year. She allowed five hits and four walks while striking out three in 4.1 innings. Graham allowed two hits and two runs (zero earned) while striking out one in 1.2 innings.
Fitzgerald took the loss for Lakeland as she allowed nine hits, nine runs, and two walks in one plus innings pitched. The first eight batters reached (seven via hits) against Fitzgerald in the second before Liz Shull relieved her and finished the game.
Game 2: Owens 9 Lakeland 0 (5 Innings)
Lassey and Britt carried the Express offense, while Graham twirled a three hit, five inning complete game shutout as the Express closed out OCCAC play with an undefeated record.
After Britt tripled with one out in the first, Lassey doubled her home two batters later. Morrison then knocked Lassey home with a single through the left side putting Owens up 2-0.
Graham then retired Lakeland 1-2-3 in the first and second. Britt led off the top half of the third with a double, was sacrificed to third and scored on an RBI single by Lassey.
Up 3-0, the Express added five runs in the fourth thanks to back-to-back home runs by Britt and Barron. After the Express loaded the bases, but failed to score in two straight at bats, Britt took the first pitch she saw over the fence in left center for a grand slam. Barron followed with a solo shot to make it 8-0.
In the bottom half, Graham allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, but got two groundouts and a strikeout looking to end the Lakeland threat.
The speed of Scott got the Express an insurance run in the fifth. She was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second, stole third, and scored via error on the throw to third.
Graham then retired Lakeland 1-2-3 in the fifth to end the game. She moved to 9-1 with the win as she allowed three hits and zero walks while striking out three in her five innings.
Shull took the loss for Lakeland as she allowed 11 hits and eight runs in four innings. Shannon Schwed pitched the final inning for the Lakers.
Britt finished 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, a grand slam, three runs and four RBIs as she fell just a single shy of the cycle, while Lassey was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run and two RBIs. Scott added a 2-for-2, one run, three stolen base game.
The Express moved to 34-4 overall and 8-0 in the OCCAC with the win. They clinched the OCCAC championship earlier this month - their 11th since 2000.
Their games on Friday against Mott CC and Saturday against Muskegon CC were canceled. The next action for Owens is Monday at home against Defiance College JV. It will be their final home games of the season.
The home runs for Britt and Barron were the first of their Owens career, while Hollister's home run is her fifth of the season - a team high.
Iacoangeli and Scott continue to be terrors on the basepaths as they have now combined for 84 stolen bases (54 for Iacoangeli and 30 for Scott). The single season record for steals is 72 by Kylie Zweifel in 2006. Meanwhile, those two are also leading the team in batting average (.538 for Iacoangeli and .492 for Scott) and hits (Scott has 58 and Iacoangeli has 57).
Iacoangeli has hit safely in 24 of the past 26 games, while Scott is currently on a 15-game hitting streak. In that period, Scott is hitting 30-for-42 (.714) with 14 stolen bases.
Lassey bumped her average up to .417 with her solid offensive day, while Hollister now has 42 RBIs - 12 short of tying Amanda Temple's single season record from 2009. Her five RBIs in today's first game is a season high.
Michalak's ERA rose to 1.17 with her five earned runs today. She had not given up more than two earned runs in any outing this year.
Barron's two-hit game today was her sixth multi-hit game of the season, while Britt's three runs and three hits were season-highs, although she has nine multi-hit games this year.