Pitching Dominates As Owens Softball Sweeps Heidelberg JV

Benschoter and Minarchick (L to R) dominated today. Photos by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Benschoter and Minarchick (L to R) dominated today. Photos by Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information

Tiffin, Ohio---Miranda Benschoter (Elmwood/Bloomdale, Ohio) and Kailey Minarchick (Columbia Station/Columbia Station, Ohio) combined to allow just five hits and one unearned run in a doubleheader sweep of Heidelberg University's JV team this afternoon.

With the victories, Owens improves to 15-10 overall. Today's games were a makeup from yesterday's postponed doubleheader.

Game 1: Owens 3 Heidelberg JV 1

Benschoter flirted with a no-hitter in today's first game, while Cassidy Rolf (Eastwood/Pemberville, Ohio) and Ericca Herzog (Southview/Sylvania, Ohio) knocked in a pair of runs for the offense.

Jacey Gray (Springfield/Holland, Ohio), who entered the game with 24 stolen bases in 23 games, led things off in the first inning with a bunt single. She then stole second and advanced to third on a bunt single from Michayla Barga (Bradford/Bradford, Ohio). With one out, Herzog lofted a sacrifice fly to right field that put Owens up 1-0 early.

The lead doubled in the third inning on a defensive miscue by Heidelberg. With Gray on second, Rolf singled to center. On the play, Gray held at third, but the throw went home and high, which allowed Gray to scamper home.

In the fifth, Rolf's two-out RBI single up the middle scored Olivia Myers (Elmwood/Bloomdale, Ohio), who doubled to left center with one out, as Owens took a three-run lead.

Benschoter, however, didn't need much run support. The freshman allowed five walks in the circle, but didn't allow a hit until a one out RBI double in the seventh. The run was unearned, as an error earlier in the inning allowed the runner to reach.

With the win, Benschoter improves to 7-4 this year, and she lowered her ERA to 2.74. Prior to the seventh inning, only two runners reached second base, and one came via an error.

Offensively, Gray (2-for-4, two runs, SB), Rolf (2-for-4, RBI) and Barga (2-for-3, BB, SB) each had multi-hit games for Owens. Myers and Sabina Watson (Bradford/Starke, Fla.) had the other two hits.

Game 2: Owens 7 Heidelberg JV 0

In the second game, Minarchick picked up where Benschoter left off, while the offense produced seven runs on 13 hits.

Heidelberg threatened early with a single and an error and had two runners in scoring position with no outs. Minarchick, however, got a pop out, a line out and a strike out to end the threat without any runners scoring.

The game would then remain scoreless until the fourth inning when Angelique Prunty's (Elyria/Elyria, Ohio) RBI single up the middle scored Barga, who singled to lead off the inning.

In the fifth, Owens broke open a close game with four runs. Watson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Haley Kreger (Bedford/Temperance, Mich.) pinch ran for her and later came around on an RBI groundout from Gray.

Moments later, Rolf, who singled one at bat after Gray's groundout, scored on a wild pitch. On the same pitch, Herzog struck out, but reached because of the errant throw. Prunty followed with a run scoring single, but a fielding error in left allowed Herzog to score in addition to Myers, who walked earlier in the inning.

Then, in the seventh, Jordan Hanf (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) produced an RBI single with one out that scored Herzog, who singled to lead off the inning. Hanf later scored on an errant throw on a failed pickoff attempt at third.

Minarchick only had one 1-2-3 inning, but remained in control after pitching out of first inning trouble. After the first, only four runners reached scoring position on her, but two of them came due to errors.

Minarchick improved to 7-6 with the win. Her final line included seven innings, four hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. She also lowered her ERA to 1.78, which leads the team and notched her 80th strikeout of the season in just 78.2 innings.

Offensively, Gray (2-for-5, RBI, SB), Rolf (2-for-4, R), Barga (2-for-4, R), Herzog (2-for-4, 2 R) and Prunty (2-for-4, 2 RBI) had multi-hit games, while Hanf, Watson and Ashley Guthrie (Milan/Versailles, Ind.) picked up the other three hits. Guthrie's hit came in a pinch hitting appearance.

Looking Ahead

Owens is scheduled for its home and conference opener on Friday with a doubleheader against Sinclair Community College at 3:30 p.m. They're also scheduled to host Clark State Community College on Saturday and Macomb Community College on Sunday.

Next Monday's home doubleheader against Walsh University JV has been canceled.