By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
North East, Penn.---Aubrey Geis (Toledo Christian/Wauseon, Ohio) produced a three-run homer in today's second game, but the No. 12 Owens Community College softball team dropped a pair of games to No. 8 Mercyhurst North East Community College on the road today.
Game 1: Mercyhurst North East 10 Owens 0 (5 Innings)
Ronette Claar tossed a no-hitter as the Express were shut out in today's first game.
In the first inning, Brittany George (Elmwood/Wayne, Ohio) battled Claar for a 15 pitch at bat, but ended up lining out to center. Then, in the fourth, George was hit by a one hop pitch to break up Claar's perfect game. It would turn out to be the only baserunner of the game for the Express.
While Claar was dealing, Express starter Lesley Ducat (Evergreen/Lyons, Ohio) struggled with command. She allowed nine hits, 10 runs (six earned) and three walks while striking out one over four innings. She fell to 14-3 this year with the loss.
Claar struck out six over her five innings while improving to 12-1 this year.
Alayna Carlson, who hit cleanup for Mercyhurst North East, finished 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs. Of her three hits, she had a double and a home run.
Game 2: Mercyhurst North East 12 Owens 6
The Express fell behind 5-1 through the first two innings before Geis and the Express rallied for four runs in the third to tie it, but it wasn't enough as the Express dropped today's second game.
In the first, George got the first hit of the day for the Express with two outs. Her solo home run to left field gave the Express an early 1-0 lead, which also happened to be the only lead of the day for the Express.
After Mercyhurst North East answered with three in the first and two in the second to take a 5-1 lead, Geis delivered a three-run homer to left center in the top half of the third to pull her team within one. Later in the inning, Alexandra Veres (Cardinal Stritch/Toledo, Ohio) hit a flare shot RBI single to right to tie the game.
In the bottom half, Williams allowed a walk and a two-run homer by Carlson to lead off the inning. Morrow replaced her and allowed a walk, but a 4-6-3 double play and a fine grab at third by Shelby Bruckner (Summerfield/Petersburg, Mich.) at third helped her escape further damage.
The Express got a run back in the sixth. With Morrow at third and Emily Mutter (Onsted/Manitou Beach, Mich.) at first, Mutter attempted to steal second, but was thrown out. Morrow scored on the throw to second.
Mercyhurst North East then added three insurance runs in the bottom half to take a 12-6 lead.
The Express got a walk by Emily Rockman (Springfield/Holland, Ohio) and a single to second base by Veres with one out in the seventh, but the rally, the game and the doubleheader ended with two straight outs.
Bright spots offensively for the Express, aside from the homer by Geis and George, came from Veres and Rockman. Veres finished 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Rockman was 3-for-3 with a run.
Carlson was, once again, a terror for Express pitching in the second game. She finished 3-for-3 with two runs and five RBIs. Of her three hits, she had a triple and a homer. She finished a double away from the cycle in the second game, although she had a cycle if you include both games. In her final at bat of the game, she walked.
Williams (2-3) took the loss. She allowed nine hits, nine runs (six earned) and two walks over three plus, while Morrow allowed three hits, three runs and four walks in her three innings.
The Express fell to 16-6 overall this year with the losses. They have now lost four in a row heading into tomorrow's league tilt with Cuyahoga Community College at 3:30 p.m. The Express swept Cuyahoga earlier this season.
Mercyhurst North East improved to 27-4 with their wins today. They won three of four from the Express this year.
After starting the season 14-0, Ducat has dropped three straight decisions.
Claar's only loss this year came at the hands of Ducat and the Express earlier this season, so today was somewhat of a retribution for her.
Carlson finished 6-for-6 with five runs and seven RBIs. She had two home runs, a double and a triple among her six hits.
George's homer was her fourth of the season, while it was the first home run of the season for Geis.