By Tim Glon
ADA -- Ohio Northern smashed five home runs, including two by freshman Kelly Sheridan, and swept Marietta 6-1 and 11-3 in an Ohio Athletic Conference softball double header Saturday afternoon at the ONU Softball Field.
The Polar Bears improve to 13-5 overall and 4-0 in OAC play, while the Pioneers fall to 9-9, 2-4.
ONU is one of three undefeated teams in the OAC after the first week of league play.
Senior Cassie Gaye also had an RBI single in the frame.
Gaye added a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning to make it a 4-1 Polar Bear lead.
One out later, freshman Jamie Westinkirchner belted a solo home run to dead center field for her first collegiate round-tripper, to give ONU a 5-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, senior All-American Jackie Mangola singled home Sheridan with none out to put Northern up 6-1.
Junior Abbey Bensing improved to 5-3 on the mound with the complete-game victory. She allowed just five hits and struck out six.
In Game 2, senior All-American Kimi Blewett smashed a long, 2-run home run to left center in the bottom of the first to give ONU a 2-1 lead.
The dinger was her team-best eighth of the year.
MC used three Polar Bear errors to score a run and tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the third, but ONU immediately answered.
Blewett led off the inning by drawing an intentional walk and Mangola followed with another walk.
Junior Ashley Sujkowski doubled down the left field line to score sophomore pinch-runner Carly McKenzie and Gaye hit a sacrifice fly to score Mangola to make it a 4-2 game.
Senior Katie Cretin then singled home Sujkowski and it was 5-2 ONU.
Sheridan hit her second home run of the day, and her fifth of the season, to lead off the bottom of the fourth to give the Polar Bears a 6-2 lead.
Leading 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth, junior Ashley Sujkowski had a 2-out, 2-run double to put ONU up 8-3.
Two more runs scored on a fielding error by MC's right fielder and Cretin's RBI single capped the 5-run fifth inning and ended the game at 11-3 due to the NCAA;s 8-run rule.
Junior Katy Newman (4-2) struck out five and allowed just one earned run to pick up the win.
The Polar Bears will return to action Friday at 1 pm at the ONU Softball Field with a double header against Otterbein in a battle of league unbeatens.