Finishing a 12-game road trip on Sunday (April 24), Ashland University's softball team earned some momentum going into the 2016 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Eagles came into Sunday's doubleheader at Northwood having lost five of its previous six games, but they reversed their fortunes with 4-0 and 8-5 (eight innings) wins over the Timberwolves. AU is 25-21-1 overall and 15-10-1 in the GLIAC, and will enter the conference tourney (April 29-May 1 in Findlay, Ohio) as the No. 5 seed.
Ashland will play No. 4 seed Ferris State (34-16, 19-7) at 10 a.m. on Friday on Findlay.
Northwood's season ends at 16-26, 7-19.
Sunday's Game 1 saw the Eagles score the only run they ultimately would need in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single by senior left fielder Shelbie Prince. Ashland added two runs in the fifth (a home run by junior shortstop Alexis Van Horn and an RBI single by senior first baseman Jen Moore) and another in the sixth (RBI single by sophomore third baseman Marissa Caraballo).
Senior pitcher Sarah Alley authored a complete-game three-hit shutout, striking out six and not issuing a walk. Prince was 3-for-3 with an RBI in the opening win.
Game 2 started with Ashland leads of 3-1 after three innings and 5-2 after four. The Timberwolves, however, scored a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh for a 5-5 tie to force an extra inning.
In the top of the eighth, the Eagles scored three times on two Northwood errors and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Van Horn.
Alley earned her second win of the day and 15th of the season thanks to 1 2/3 innings of hitless and scoreless relief. Junior center fielder Ally Farrah, Prince, Moore and junior right fielder Jenny Raguz each had two of AU's 10 hits, and senior catcher Bri Buckley and Van Horn each drove in two runs.