PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Despite a valiant pitching effort in the opener, the Lake Erie College softball team couldn’t slow the season-opening tear of Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday (March 16) as the Crimson Hawks spoiled the Storm’s home opener with a 3-0, 9-1 doubleheader sweep at Slattery Field.
The losses drop Lake Erie’s record to 3-9 on the season while IUP improves to 10-1, running its winning streak to three.
In the first game, sophomore Sam Ronde (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) went toe-to-toe with IUP’s Erin Holloway for seven innings, forcing a scoreless game into extra innings. But the Crimson Hawks finally broke through, scoring three runs in the eighth, including a pair of unearned runs with two outs.
With a runner placed on second due to the international tie-breaking rule, Monica Iachini singled back up the box to score Michelle Bivona with what would be the winning run. After a Storm error allowed the second run to score, Kristen Tunno singled in Megan McCormick for the final run.
The Storm threatened in the bottom of the inning, putting two runners on, but Holloway, who allowed just two hits, got Megan Foley (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) to ground out to end the game.
Ronde (1-3) scattered nine hits and the three runs in eight innings, tossing her second complete game of the year. Holloway struck out 15 Lake Erie hitters and walked just one in improving to 6-0.
In the second game, IUP jumped on top early with a three-run first and followed with runs in each of the next four innings en route to a five-inning win.
The Storm scraped across a run in the fourth when sophomore Haley Rathge (Edon, Ohio/Napoleon) singled to score junior Brittany Sostre (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) in the fourth. Rathge led Lake Erie with two hits in the nightcap.
The Hawks banged out 13 hits in the game, with Iachini leading the way with three. Tunno and Ashley Arentz each had a pair of hits and Stefanie Poates blasted a two-run homer. Bivona went the distance in hurling the five-hit shutout.
Pam Bykowski (Perry, Ohio/Perry/Armstrong Atlantic) falls to 1-3 with the pitching loss. She allowed six runs- four earned- on eight hits in three innings.
Lake Erie hosts future GLIAC foe Ohio Dominican University on Wednesday, March 17, at 3 p.m.