Playing its first two games at Brookside Park in 2019, as well as its first two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests of the season, Ashland University's softball team lost 3-2 and 6-3 decisions to Northwood on Wednesday (March 20).
Earlier in the day, the Eagles (14-8 overall, 0-2 GLIAC) received votes in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NCAA Division II poll. The two wins moved the Timberwolves to 12-9-1, 2-0, and give them five wins and a tie in the last six outings.
THE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
- With two outs in the top of the fifth in Game 1, Northwood broke into the score column first on an RBI double down the right-field line from Julia Gross, then added a two-run single by Grace Dutoi.
- After scoring single runs in the bottom of the fifth and earlier in the sixth, Ashland had runners at second and third with two outs in the sixth before Timberwolves relief pitcher April Bennett got the strikeout to end the threat.
- Game 2 started Northwood's way thanks to an unearned run in the top of the second, then in the top of the third, Gross hit a solo home run to left for a 2-0 T'Wolves advantage.
- The Eagles chipped away at that early deficit, scoring in the bottom of the third on a solo home run from senior center fielder Erika Farst, then in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore left fielder Emma Lawson to tie the contest at 2.
- Northwood re-took the lead in the top of the sixth with three runs, two of which were unearned. Eagle senior first baseman Kylie Asmus scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth, but the Timberwolves got that run back in the top of the seventh.
- Entering Wednesday, Northwood (47) and Ashland (45) were 1-2 in the GLIAC in extra-base hits. The Eagles finished the twinbill with four doubles and a homer, and the Timberwolves rapped three two-baggers.
- In Game 1, senior pitcher Hannah Stroe (7-4) took the tough-luck loss, allowing eight hits, three runs and no walks and striking out two in going the distance.
- Farst was 2-for-3 with the round-tripper in Game 2, while sophomore pitcher Laney Jones (5-4) yielded nine hits, six runs (three earned) and two walks and struck out two in 6 1/3 frames.
- The Eagles committed seven errors in two games after just 23 miscues in the season's first 20 games.
Ashland's eight-game homestand will continue on Saturday (March 23) at 1 p.m. at Brookside Park vs. Ferris State (9-11, 0-0).