By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, Ohio---Oakland Community College swept the No. 9 Owens Community College softball team in a doubleheader at Express Field today.
Game 1: Oakland 6 Owens 4
Defensive miscues led to three unearned runs for Oakland in the first game, and they eventually cost the Express in the end.
Oakland answered back in the next half inning with an Alexis Powell RBI triple to tie the game at 1-all.
In the fifth, Emily Rockman (Springfield/Holland, Ohio) hit an opposite field two-run home run to left center that put the Express back in the lead.
Then, in the sixth, the Express defense cost them dearly. With one out and runners on second and third, Lesley Ducat (Evergreen/Lyons, Ohio) fielded a ball in the circle, checked the runner at third, but sailed the throw to first over Rockman's head. Both runners scored and Oakland would a third unearned run in the inning to lead by one.
Another big home run, this time by Taylor Miller (Erie Mason/Toledo, Ohio), tied the game at four in the bottom half of the sixth. They almost added on in the inning, but Alexandra Veres (Cardinal Stritch/Toledo, Ohio) and Emily Mutter (Onsted/Manitou Beach, Mich.) both had their hits caught on the warning track.
Later, Oakland put runners on first and third with one out in the seventh. The next batter flew out to center, but Haley Hudgin (Ida/Ida, Mich.) held the ball too long, which allowed the runner to tag and score from third. Oakland would add one more in the inning to take a two run lead.
With the Express needing two runs to keep the game alive, Tori Weidinger (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) produced a one-out double in the seventh. However, Rockman flew out to deep left and Ducat struck out swinging to end the game.
Ducat (14-1) took her first loss this year. She allowed 10 hits, six runs (three earned) and two walks. She finished with five strikeouts, but none after the third inning.
George went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Rockman was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer to lead the Express offense.
Manda Messer got the win for Oakland. She went the distance while allowing eight hits, four runs and two walks. She struck out five.
Game 2: Oakland 14 Owens 6 (Six Innings)
Rockman's three-run homer tied the game at six in the fourth, but Oakland scored eight runs off Ducat, who entered in relief as the Express dropped the second game in six innings.
Oakland scored three times in the second to take the early lead. Miller then got one back in the bottom half to pull the Express within two.
After Oakland scored three more times in the fourth, the Express rallied for five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Molly Gast (Sylvania Southview/Toledo, Ohio) had an RBI single to left field, George followed with another RBI single to left, Weidinger walked and Rockman cleared the bases with a 3-run shot to right.
Ducat then relieved Lexi Williams (Home School/Swanton, Ohio) to start the fifth, but experienced trouble - allowing two in the fifth and six more in the sixth.
Oakland's Messer, who came in in relief, closed off her second save of the year by fanning Ducat to end the game.
George (2-for-4, R, RBI), Miller (2-for-3, R, RBI) and Weidinger (2-for-3, R, BB) led the Express offense.
Williams, who went the first four innings to pick up a no decision, allowed eight hits, six runs and two walks. Ducat (14-2) allowed eight hits, eight runs (five earned) and two walks, while striking out two, in her two innings.
Selena Hicks (1-1) picked up the win in relief for Oakland. She allowed five hits, five runs and one walk, while Messer went the final two innings to pick up the save. She struck out two and didn't allow a hit, a walk or a run.
The Express (16-4) are scheduled to travel to Grand Rapids Community College for a doubleheader on Sunday.
Today was the first time this year the Express has been swept in a doubleheader.
Rockman's two homers gives her three this year, while Miller's home run was her first of the season. Rockman also has eight in her career now.
After starting the season 14-0, Ducat picked up her first and second loss of the season in the same day.