By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Cleveland, OH---The No. 15 Express softball team was buoyed by a strong performance from sophomore outfielder Mareshah Scott as they split a crucial road doubleheader against Cuyahoga Community College today.
The sophomore finished 6-for-8 from the plate with five runs, three stolen bases and an RBI.
Game 1: Cuyahoga 10 Owens 9 - (8 Innings)
It was a wild game in today's opener. Despite a 4-for-4 plate performance and a game saving double play from Scott, the Express lost a tough game in extra innings.
The Express got a second inning RBI single from Scott and a third inning RBI double from Emily Rockman to take a 2-0 lead. Cuyahoga then got four unearned runs in the third on an RBI single from Lexi Sheets and a three-run double from Jillian Coyle to take a 4-2 lead.
In fact, the Express stranded at least one runner in scoring position in the second through sixth innings.
Cuyahoga got another unearned run in the fourth to retake the lead, and then the Express plated three in the sixth.
After Scott singled to lead off the sixth, a wild play ensued. Glad followed with an infield single to second base. On the play, Scott rounded second and didn't stop running. Cuyahoga attempted to throw her out at third, but the tag was late. Scott didn't stop there, though, as she kept running and narrowly beat another throw at home.
On the play, Glad went to third and scored on an RBI double from Iacoangeli one out later. Following another out, Amanda Sinay lined an RBI single up the middle to put the Express up 7-5.
Cuyahoga didn't stop, though, as they got back-to-back, two-run doubles from Kelly Kirkpatrick and Sheets to take a 9-7 lead into the seventh.
Katie Butler then got things started for the Express with a leadoff single. After a strikeout, Scott got a hustle double to right center that put the tying runners in scoring position. Following another strikeout, Tyniesha Wilson came through with a clutch pinch hit two-run single to tie it up. Wilson was thrown out in a run down between first and second to end the inning.
In the bottom half, Scott made her mark defensively. After Scott and Glad collided in left center on a ball hit by Cuyahoga's Katie Jones, a runner was on second with no outs. No problem, though, as Scott sprinted in and snared a liner below her waist and fired to second for the double play.
In the eighth, the Express once again stranded a runner at third to end the inning. Cuyahoga took advantage as their leadoff hitter, Kayla Schmidt, lined a triple to left center. After stopping at third, Express shortstop Alyssa Lassey fumbled the ball in left center - allowing Schmidt to scamper home with the winning run.
Scott finished the game 4-for-4 with three runs, two stolen bases and an RBI, while Iacoangeli, Butler and Glad picked up two hits each. The Express got doubles from Iacoangeli (2), Rockman, Butler and Scott, while Glad (2) and Iacoangeli picked up the other stolen bases aside from Scott.
In the circle, Katilyn Turski was a tough luck loser for the Express. The freshman went the distance and allowed 11 hits, 10 runs and one walk while striking out two. However, only three of the runs were earned as she fell to 14-5 overall.
Meanwhile, after Cuyahoga's starter, Coyle, exited after the seventh, Brittany Schnarrs picked up the win in relief.
Sheets led Cuyahoga at the plate as she finished 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs.
Game 2: Owens 12 Cuyahoga 7 - (7 Innings)
The Express rebounded in the second game as they scored in every inning except one.
Sinay got things started with an RBI single in the first before Cuyahoga's Kirkpatrick answered with an RBI single of her own in the bottom half.
In the second, the Express got an RBI single from Glad, while another run scored on a throwing error from Sheets at third base.
After Turski retired the side in the next half inning on four pitches, the Express had their only scoreless half inning in the third.
Sheets then picked up an RBI groundout in the third, but Turski stranded a runner at third to help the Express keep a one run lead.
A three-run outburst, thanks to some timely hitting and bad defense from Cuyahoga, then gave the Express a 6-2 lead.
Reeder got things started with a sacrifice fly to right before Sinay had an RBI single and a throwing error plated the third.
Cuyahoga scored a single run in the fourth thanks to an Express error, but stranded runners at second on third.
In the fifth, Wilson reached on a run scoring error and Iacoangeli got an RBI single to score Wilson as the Express took an 8-3 lead. They added another run in the sixth with a sacrifice fly from Rockman to push the lead to six.
Cuyahoga rallied, once again, though as they got a two-run double from Schmidt, a sacrifice fly from Sheets and an RBI single from Jacqueline Vavro to make it 9-7.
The team's RBI leader, Reeder, got a couple insurance runs for the Express with a two-run single in the seventh, and Sinay followed with an RBI single to make it 12-7.
In the bottom half, the Express threw out a runner at home to end the game.
Sinay finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs, two runs and three stolen bases, while Iacoangeli (3-for-5, three runs, two stolen bases and three RBIs) and Scott (2-for-4, two runs, one stolen base) also added at least two hits.
Wilson was 0-for-3, but reached twice on an error and once on a fielder's choice. She scored each of those three times.
Turski improved to 15-5 with another complete game. She allowed 11 hits, seven runs (five earned) and two walks while striking out three, while Schnarrs took the complete game loss for Cuyahoga, who was led Kirkpatrick's 3-for-4, one run, one RBI performance at the plate.
The Express are now 19-11 overall and 6-2 in the OCCAC. Cuyahoga had a chance to clinch at least a share of the OCCAC title with a win in today's second game, but the Express prevented it.
Cuyahoga (8-2 OCCAC) has two league games remaining on the road against the Express, while the Express has two home games against Lakeland prior to playing Cuyahoga. If the Express win 3 of 4, they get a share of the OCCAC title, and they can win it outright with wins in all four.
The Express are scheduled to host a home non-conference doubleheader against Defiance College's JV team on Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.
With her two games today, Scott is now hitting .505 this year. She's second on the team in runs (29), second in hits (47) and second in stolen bases (20).
Meanwhile, Iacoangeli's strong day improved her batting average to .485 and she is now third in the nation in stolen bases with 40 after picking up four more today.
Glad is the third Express player hitting over .400 as she checks in with a .446 average.
Reeder increased her team-high RBI total to 30 today, while Sinay picked up her team-high fifth triple. Rockman leads the team with 14 doubles and is second with 24 RBIs.
Scott (.650), Iacoangeli (.600) and Glad (.462) are the OCCAC's top three hitters in conference play alone. Reeder is second in RBIs with 15, while Iacoangeli (14), Scott (11) and Glad (10) are 1, 3, and 4 in runs scored.
Even more impressive, Iacoangeli (20), Scott (7), Sinay (6) and Glad (5) are 1-4 in stolen bases in OCCAC play.
Turski leads the OCCAC with six wins.