No. 8 Express Softball Sweeps Cuyahoga, Remains Undefeated In OCCAC

Amanda Sinay slides home safely on a two run single from Aja Hall in the fourth inning of a 9-0 win over Cuyahoga CC today. Below, Express catcher Olivia Reeder prepares to catch a foul pop fly in the second inning of the same game. Photos by Sharon Snyder/Owens Sports Information
Amanda Sinay slides home safely on a two run single from Aja Hall in the fourth inning of a 9-0 win over Cuyahoga CC today. Below, Express catcher Olivia Reeder prepares to catch a foul pop fly in the second inning of the same game. Photos by Sharon Snyder/Owens Sports Information

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Toledo, OH---The Express pitching staff has now kept their opponents scoreless for 20 consecutive innings following two shutout wins over OCCAC foe Cuyahoga Community College today.

Game 1: No. 8 Owens 3 Cuyahoga 0

Ashlyn Michalak scattered four hits in a complete game effort, while Katie Butler provided the lone RBI for the Express in a 3-0 win.

Melanie Iacoangeli singled, stole second, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tabitha Britt and scored on a passed ball to put Owens up 1-0 in the first inning.

Then, in the third, the Express scored two more runs. Iacoangeli singled and stole second once again leading off. Britt then laid down a bunt single, and Iacoangeli scored on a throwing error on the play. Britt would later score on a sacrifice fly by Butler.

Iacoangeli and Mareshah Scott would combine to single and steal second leading off an inning three times in the game.

With all the run support she needed, Michalak shut down Cuyahoga's bats and received some fine defense behind her. While lowering her season ERA to 0.94, she didn't walk a batter and struck out nine. She is now 12-0 this year.

Iacoangeli finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two stolen bases, while Sydney Barron was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and Scott was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases.

Jillian Coyle took the loss for Cuyahoga. She went the complete six innings while allowing nine hits, three runs and zero walks. She struck out five.

Game 2: No. 8 Owens 9 Cuyahoga 0 (5 innings)

Lexi Sheets and Kasey Graham combined to one-hit Tri-C's offense, while the Express offense exploded for six runs in the fourth inning en route to a 9-0, five inning victory.

The only hit for Cuyahoga came with two outs in the second inning on a double from Brittney Helmick.

The Express scored in only two innings, but produced very well in each of them. In a three run second inning, Michelle Hollister had a two run double to right field, while Iacoangeli had an RBI single to left field. Other hits in the inning came from Olivia Reeder, Scott and Barron. Owens stranded the bases loaded in the inning.

In the third, Sheets allowed back-to-back one out walks. Express head coach Duane Lanham then went to the bullpen to bring in Graham, who recorded an out in all eight at bats she faced.

In the six run fourth inning for Owens, Barron had an RBI triple to left field, Aja Hall had a two-run single to left, Scott had an RBI single and Hallie Thompson had an RBI double. The Express had six hits in the inning, while the RBIs for Hall were her first of the season.

Barron was 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a triple, while Scott was 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI. Hollister added a 1-for-2, two run, two RBI performance. She added a double and a walk.

Graham improved to 5-1 with her win in relief as she struck out one in her 2.2 innings. Sheets received a no decision in her 2.1 innings. She allowed one hit and two walks.

Maria DiDonato took the loss for Cuyahoga. Her final line included four innings, 12 hits, nine runs, one walk and one strikeout.

Notes

The Express improved to 24-2 overall and 4-0 in the OCCAC. With their two shutout wins today, their 8-0 win over Tiffin University JV in game two yesterday, and three scoreless innings at the end of the first game against Tiffin University JV, the Express pitching staff now has a 20 inning scoreless streak.

Prior to the doubleheader, the Express continued to do their best Rodney Dangerfield impression in the NJCAA D-II poll as they dropped one spot to No. 8. Despite having the fewest losses in the nation, the Express was the only team to drop a spot in the top seven despite multiple teams losing games above them.

Graham lowered her season ERA to 1.98 with her eight up, eight down performance in relief today.

Michalak's 12-0 start is the second best in program history behind last year's No. 1 starter Jordan Ratliff, who started 19-0. Her sub one ERA is among the nation's best.

Iacoangeli raised her season high stolen base total to 32. She has some work to do if she wants to break the single season record of 72 held by Kylie Zweifel.