By Blake Moore
ADA — The Ohio Northern softball program dropped two games to Trine (Ind.) in a nonconference doubleheader Sunday afternoon, falling 5-3 in the opener and 11-2 in six innings during game two at the ONU Softball Field in Ada.
With the losses, the Polar Bears move to 6-8 overall on the season. Meanwhile, the Thunder climb to 10-2 and expand their current win streak to eight games.
Junior infielder Brady Guest (Convoy/Crestview) topped the Polar Bear offense with a team-high four hits, which included a home run and a double. The Convoy native also scored a team-high two runs and chipped in an RBI to the offensive attack.
Meanwhile, junior catcher/infielder Gabby Stewart (Union, Ky./St. Henry) and senior infielder Hailee Loughman (Brookville) also recorded multiple hits in the doubleheader. The former registered a three-for-seven outing while the latter went two-for-six to contribute two RBI, which tied freshman outfielder Abby Elliott (Loveland/Ursuline) for the team lead.
In game one, the Thunder jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second frame when center fielder Michaela Hartline laced an RBI double into left field. The visitors then launched two home runs, a solo shot from Lainey McCue and a two-run blast from Makenna Hartline, in the fourth stanza to take a commanding 4-0 advantage.
The Polar Bears responded with their first run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a solo home run from Guest.
The comeback effort continued in the sixth frame when Guest and Loughman kicked off the home half with back-to-back singles. Moments later, Elliott blasted a one-out double to bring home freshmen Marissa Cilluffo (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) and Sydney Newland (Ada), who were brought on to pinch run for the Polar Bears.
However, Trine added one run in the seventh frame and limited ONU to just one hit in its final at-bat to close the contest and secure a 5-3 victory in the opener.
Game two ended in six innings due to the NCAA's eight-run rule following five innings played.
The Thunder utilized the long ball to its advantage in the nightcap, belting five home runs to propel them to the nonconference sweep.
Trine rolled out to a 4-0 advantage after scoring two runs in the first and third innings before the Polar Bears answered with two runs of their own. Loughman slapped a single into left field in the third inning to bring home Guest and freshman Kara May (Saint Marys/Spencerville), cutting the lead to 4-2.
However, the visitors tallied two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, and two more in the sixth to capture game two.
Ohio Northern wraps up its current six-game home stretch Thursday afternoon with a nonconference doubleheader against Wooster. Game one is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start at the ONU Softball Field.