ADA, Ohio—The Mount Union softball team saw its season come to an end with an 11-5 loss to No. 24 Ohio Northern in the semifinals Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon in Ada. The Purple Raiders finished 21-20 record and won eight of their final nine regular season games to extend their season through the weekend.
Ohio Northern, who scored six runs in 1.2 innings earlier in the morning in their elimination game against Otterbein, carried their hot bats into this game, scoring three runs before the Raiders could record an out. Following a throwing error and single, Kimi Blewett delivered a double to make it 2-0. Back-to-back singles allowed Blewett to score, prompting a pitching change for head coach Sandy Douglas.
Mount Union got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Kristen Gromes (Navarre/Fairless) singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After advancing to third on a groundout, Gromes scored on a throwing error by Ohio Northern.
Brenna Longo (Moon, Pa./Moon) began the two-run 4th with a single. Brittany Papp (Uniontown/Green) would bring her around to score a few batters later. Marissa Earl (Massillon/Washington) added an RBI single of her own for the Raiders, who left a pair of runners on base in the inning.
The Raiders made one final attempt to rally in the sixth inning. Alex Mayo (Greenville/Ansonia) and Gromes got singles and Earl drove them home with a double. An Amy Brown (Uniontown/Lake) single put runners on the corners with one out, but Leigh Siedlak (Westerville/Westerville South) grounded out and Earl was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
At the plate, Mount Union was led by Earl and Gromes. Earl went 3-for-4 with three RBI while Gromes went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
Both players were named to the All-Tournament Team. Earl finished 4-for-11 with a double, four RBI, and two runs. Gromes finished 5-for-9 with a double, three runs, and made one of the tournament's best defensive plays throwing a runner out at home to complete a double-play and keep the game tied Friday against Ohio Northern.
Jackie Mangola went 3-for-4 with four RBI. Her three-run homer in the 4th inning gave the Polar Bears a 7-1 lead. Cassie Gaye also had three hits.
Bre Willis (Navarre/Fairless) took the loss for Mount Union. Willis (11-10) pitched 1.2 innings after re-entering the game in the 5th inning.
Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) went 5.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits while recording three strikeouts.
Katy Newman (10-4) was victorious for Ohio Northern. Newman allowed five runs on nine hits in seven innings while striking out three batters.