By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---The No. 13 Owens Community College softball team split a doubleheader at home with No. 8 Mercyhurst North East Community College today.
Game 1: No. 13 Owens 8 No. 8 Mercyhurst North East 0 (Five Innings)
Lesley Ducat (Evergreen/Lyons, Ohio) was masterful in the circle, while Brittany George (Elmwood/Wayne, Ohio) couldn't be stopped offensively as the Express ended Mercyhurst North East's nine-game winning streak.
In addition to their nine-game win streak, Mercyhurst North East's starting pitcher Ronette Claar entered the game sporting a 6-0 record and a 0.66 ERA. She also had 52 strikeouts in 32 innings this year. That all changed in the first inning when George took her deep for a two-run homer to left field.
Meanwhile, Ducat was on her way to scattering five hits over a five inning complete game. The closest Mercyhurst North East came to scoring on her was in the fifth inning when they had runners on second and third with one out, but Ducat got a strikeout and a lineout to left to end the threat.
With her team up 3-0, Emily Rockman (Springfield/Holland, Ohio) lined a two-run double to left center in the third. George followed her in the fourth inning with a two-run double of her own that made it 7-0.
After Ducat escaped her second and third with one out jam in the top of the fifth, Haley Hudgin (Ida/Ida, Mich.) helped the Express to a walk-off win when she blooped an RBI double down the left field line to score pinch runner Emily Mutter (Onsted/Manitou Beach, Mich.) in the bottom half.
George finished 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs. Rockman (2-for-3, two RBIs) and Miller (2-for-2, run, RBI) also helped offensively.
Ducat's final line included five innings, five hits, zero walks and eight strikeouts. She moved to 9-0 with the win.
On the other side, Claar was roughed up to the tune of 4.2 plus innings, 10 hits, eight runs, zero walks and five strikeouts.
Game 2: No. 8 Mercyhurst North East 10 Owens 1 (Five Innings)
Mercyhurst North East's Portia McBride silenced the Express bats for the most part as her team rolled to a 10-1 win in today's second game.
McBride held the Express to just three hits through her five innings, while striking out eight.
The lone Express run came on a solo home run to straight away center by Rockman leading off the bottom of the fifth. The Express would add two more runners in the inning, but they were stranded.
Rockman led the Express at the plate as she finished 1-for-2 with her solo homer. Molly Gast (Sylvania Southview/Toledo, Ohio) and Shelby Bruckner (Summerfield/Petersburg, Mich.) had the other two hits for the Express.
Lexi Williams (Home School/Swanton, Ohio) took the loss and fell to 1-2. She allowed 11 hits, 10 runs (nine earned) and two walks while striking out three in five innings.
The No. 13 Express are now 10-2 overall. They will host Lakeland Community College at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. It marks the beginning of their conference schedule.
Mercyhurst North East is now 16-3 this year.