Softball stays atop OAC standings with double header split at Otterbein

Softball stays atop OAC standings with double header split at Otterbein

By Tim Glon

WESTERVILLE —The Ohio Northern softball team clinched a spot in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament and stayed atop the OAC standings with a double header split at Otterbein on Tuesday afternoon at the Otterbein Softball Field.

ONU won the opener 6-3 in nine innings and OU won the nightcap 12-4 in five innings.

The Polar Bears move to 19-11 overall and remain in first place in the OAC standings with a 12-2 record, while the Cardinals move to 19-13, 10-4.

With the split, Northern has clinched a spot in the 4-team OAC Tournament May 3-5 for the second consecutive year and the fifth time in the past six seasons.

In Game 1, junior Gabby Stewart (Union, Ky./St. Henry) broke a 3-all tie with a 2-run single in the top of the ninth.

Senior Hailee Loughman (Brookville) then singled home freshman pinch-runner Marissa Cilluffo (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) to make it 6-3.

Senior Kaitlin Surdej (Lancaster, N.Y./Central) struck out eight in the complete-game victory and improves to 12-5 on the season.

Loughman, Stewart and freshman Rachel Hish (Gainesville, Va./Patriot) each had a pair of hits to lead ONU's 10-hit attack.

In game two, ONU built a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half, but OU scored eight runs in the bottom of the seconds to take an 8-4 lead.

Otterbein then ended the game due to the NCAA's 8-run rule with four more runs in the bottom of the fifth.

The Polar Bears will return to action on Friday with a home double header against Marietta at 1 pm at the ONU Softball Field.