Lesley Ducat (Evergreen/Lyons, Ohio) picked up two wins, while Josie Hall (New London/New London, Ohio) had a solid collegiate debut offensively to lead the Owens Community College softball team past Lincoln Trail College 7-5 and 10-2 in today's season-opening doubleheader.
Game 1: Owens 7 Lincoln Trail 5
Hall's two-run single highlighted a three-run fifth inning for the Express in a 7-5 win in today's first game.
The Express struck first with back-to-back squeeze bunts by Brittany George (Elmwood/Wayne, Ohio) and Jaylynn McGarry (Mason/Erie, Mich.) in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.
Lincoln Trail answered back in the third inning with two runs off the starter, Ducat, to tie it up before the Express took the lead back in the fourth on a Tori Weidinger (Whitmer/Toledo, Ohio) RBI triple. Emily Rockman (Springfield/Holland, Ohio), who singled leading off the inning, scored on the play.
Up 3-2, the Express saw their lead disappear the next half inning via an RBI double from Olivia Titus and an RBI single from Shayla Hughes that put Lincoln Trail up 4-3 through four and a half.
In the home half of the fifth, Rockman produced a game-tying RBI single to score Emily Mutter (Onsted/Manitou Beach, Mich.), which preceded Hall's game-winning, two-run single.
Taylor Miller (Erie Mason/Toledo, Ohio) tacked on an insurance run via an RBI single to centerfield in the sixth inning before Hughes delivered another RBI hit in the seventh for the final margin.
Rockman and Miller each finished with two hits. Rockman's line was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, while Miller's line was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Picking up their first collegiate hits in the game were: McGarry, Hall, Weidinger and Ducat.
Speaking of Ducat (1-0), the freshman tossed a complete game in her collegiate debut. She allowed seven hits, five runs (all earned) and three walks while striking out seven.
Daphne Dunegan (0-1) took the loss for Lincoln Trail. She allowed nine hits, seven runs (five earned) and one walk while striking out three over six innings.
Hughes led Lincoln Trail at the plate with a 3-for-4, three RBI performance.
Game 2: Owens 10 Lincoln Trail 2
The freshmen trio of George, Hall and Emily Morrow (Monroe Jefferson/Newport, Mich.) combined for a 7-for-11 offensive performance, while Ducat picked up the win in relief in a 10-2 second game win.
George opened the scoring with an RBI triple in the first inning before scoring on a passed ball. Hall had an RBI single later in the inning to put the Express up 3-0 before Lincoln Trail came to the plate.
McGarry started in the circle for the Express, but exited after two-thirds of an inning due to an injury. She was replaced by Lexi Williams (Home School/Swanton, Ohio), who retired the final batter of a scoreless home half of the first inning on a fly to right.
Morrow was hit by a pitch to lead off the second, stole second and scored one out later on an RBI triple by George. Williams scored George on an RBI groundout to short one batter later to make it 5-0.
In the fourth, Williams allowed a lead off single and a steal before walking her fourth batter to open the inning. She was replaced by Ducat, who got a caught stealing and a strikeout before allowing an RBI single to close out the line for Williams. Alexis Hensley grounded out to short to end the inning.
The final line for Williams was 2.1 innings, two hits, one run and four walks. She struck out one in her collegiate pitching debut.
In the fifth, another freshman, Haley Hudgin (Ida/Ida, Mich.) produced an RBI single (on her first collegiate hit) that scored Hall, who had doubled with one out.
Heading into the seventh with a five-run lead, the Express got four insurance runs via an RBI double by Morrow and an RBI single by Gast, followed by a fly ball to right from Ducat, which the rightfielder misplayed for an error scoring two runs.
Ducat allowed an unearned run in the bottom half of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Allie Minton. Her final line was four innings, two hits, one run (zero earned) and one walk. She struck out four.
Offensive leaders for the Express in game two were: George (3-for-3, three runs, two RBIs, BB), Morrow (2-for-3, three runs, RBI) and Hall (2-for-4, R, RBI). George and Morrow also stole two bases each.
Patience Tincher took the loss for Lincoln Trail. In an interesting stat line, she allowed six hits, six runs and six walks while striking out six over six innings.