May 9, 2009

First-inning Grand Slam Propels Ohio Northern to Win over DePauw

May 9, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. —  Kim Blewett's first-inning grand slam provided the margin that top-seed and fourth-ranked Ohio Northern needed in a 5-3 win over second-seed and 15th-ranked DePauw in NCAA Division III Softball Championship first round play.

The Polar Bears improved to 38-3 and advanced to Sunday's noon championship game, while the Tigers dropped to 30-8 and return to action later this afternoon when they face the winner of the Defiance-Thomas More game.

The Polar Bears jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first as Mandi Fought led off with a walk and stole second. Tina Mangola followed with an infield single and Danielle Goubeaux loaded the bases with a single through the left side. Blewett then ripped a grand slam into the wind and over the fence in left center giving Ohio Northern a 4-0 lead.

Ashlee Anton led off the second with a single and advanced to second when  the throw to second on Kelly Schwerzler's sacrifice bunt was not in time. Carolyn Bartlett then reached on an error of a sacrifice bunt attempt and Chelsy Patterson's sacrifice fly scored Cymone Allen who ran for Anton.

The Tigers closed the gap to 4-3 in the third as Emma Minx doubled and scored when Rachel Gill's grounder went through the legs of the Polar Bears third baseman. Schwerzler lifted a two-out fly ball to left which went off the left fielder's glove allowing Gill to score.

Fought walked in the seventh and stole second before Tina Mangola singled her to third and Goubeaux delivered a single to left scoring Fought and giving Ohio Northern a 5-3 lead.

DePauw left seven runners stranded including two each in the second, fourth and seventh innings. The Tigers put two on in the seventh before Anton hit a hard liner to center for the game's final out.

The Polar Bears totaled eight hits as Tina Mangola had three with Danielle Goubeaux and Blewett adding two each. Patterson had two of the Tigers' six hits.

Courtney Cash improved to 27-1 with the win and none of her three runs allowed were earned. Megan Soultz suffered the loss and dropped to 27-8. Soultz's streak of not allowing an earned run ended at 60 straight innings.