By Caleb Scott
WILMINGTON — The Ohio Northern softball team split an Ohio Athletic Conference twinbill at Wilmington on Thursday afternoon, falling 4-2 in game one before defeating Wilmington 7-2 in the nightcap.
The Polar Bears move to 18-4 overall and 4-2 in the OAC, while the Quakers move to 8-8, 1-5.
In the first contest, WC scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead, before sophomore Alicia Swierz (Deerfield/Southeast) hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate senior Jenna Hollar (Lima/Bath) and cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third inning.
Wilmington added another run in the bottom of the fifth, before Swierz hit an RBI single and scored sophomore Lexie Hess (Mount Vernon) to cut the lead to 4-2. ONU couldn't get any closer as Wilmington sealed the victory, 4-2.
Northern responded in the nightcap as Swierz earned a ground out RBI in the top of the first and plated Hollar to give Northern a quick 1-0 lead.
Two strikeouts from senior Kirsten Lightel (Tallmadge) in the bottom of the first inning quickly allowed the Polar Bear offense to get back to work as they scored three more runs in the top of the second inning.
Swierz was able to score in the top of the third inning, before Hess found home in the top of the fourth inning to push the lead to 6-0.
Swierz went back to work in the top of the sixth inning, hitting another sacrifice fly to center field and scoring Hollar to add to the ONU lead. WC added two runs late, but couldn't get any closer as Northern took game two, 7-2.
Lightel earned the victory in the pitchers circle, tossing a complete game and fanning 10 batters in the contest.
The Polar Bears return to action on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Mount Union to the ONU Softball Field for a double header with game one beginning at 1 p.m.