North Coast softball squads wrapped up spring break trips last week, as eight teams open up the conference portion of their schedules this Saturday. Highlights include Wooster (6-10) traveling to DePauw (2-8) and Denison (11-5) hosting Ohio Wesleyan (4-10). Additionally, Kenyon (8-14) and Wittenberg (12-4) will hit the road to square off against Oberlin (6-10) and Allegheny (4-8), respectively.
ALLEGHENY finished its Florida trip by going 4-4 last week. Their first win came in extra innings against Thomas, 7-6. The second was a shutout of Wisconsin Stevens Point, 2-0. On their final day in Clermont, the Gators swept the day, defeating Southern Maine, 4-3, in extra innings, before downing St. Lawrence 3-2. Sophomore Paige Blinkiewicz (Kalamazoo, MI/Loy Norrix) led the Gators with a .346 average with two home runs and four RBI.
DENISON bounced back after a couple of losses to begin the week with four-straight victories to push them over double-digit wins on the year. The Big Red were swept by Muskingum at home before they took two from Mount St. Joseph (13-1, 7-2) and two from Defiance (4-2, 9-4). Denison was led by sophomore Ricki Asher (Columbus, OH/Grove City) as the infielder hit a team-high .600 over the six game span. She led the Big Red with 12 hits, two doubles, one home run, nine RBI and slugged .850. In the circle, Erin Laswell (Plainfield, IN/Plainfield) went 1-0 in four appearances and notched a save.
DEPAUW was idle last week.
HIRAM posted a 1-3 mark in games against Westminster and Heidelberg last week. The Terriers earned a split with the Titans, taking game one, 4-3, in extra innings. Brittany Zajac (Corry, PA/Corry) tossed the complete-game victory, allowing just two earned runs in eight innings of work. She also finished 2-for-3 at the plate. During the week, Kourtney Holcomb (Garrettsville, OH/James A. Garfield) also tallied her first-career home run.
KENYON normally potent offense struggled last week as the Ladies dropped doubleheaders at Case and at Marietta. Tuesday, they lost to Case by scores of 6-5 and 8-0. Saturday, they were defeated by Marietta 6-0 and 5-2. During those four games, sophomore Amanda Ogata (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty) led the Ladies with a .462 average. She was 6-for-13 with one run and one RBI.
OBERLIN closed its Spring Break games in Florida with a 4-6 record to close the trip at .500 (6-6) and move to 6-10 on the year. The six victories in the Sunshine State mark a program record for spring break wins and the six wins are the most in a single season for head coach Sara Schoenhoft after a 2-35 season in her debut as skipper. The trip was highlighted by a series sweep over the Terriers of Thomas College, including a five-inning run-rule, the first since a 10-1 win over Franciscan back in late April of 2015.
OHIO WESLEYAN dropped all four non-conference contests last week, having been swept by Otterbein and Alma. The Bishops have three doubleheaders scheduled this week, including opening NCAC play on the road at Denison on Saturday.
WITTENBERG went 4-2 last week in non-conference action, sweeping Capital and splitting with Otterbein and Thomas More. Sophomore Abby Haab (Dublin, OH/Jerome) tossed her second-career perfect game in a 3-0 win against Capital. Haab struck out six in seven innings of dominant work for Wittenberg.
WOOSTER posted a 2-4 record to close out the Scots’ trip to Florida for spring break. Wooster was led on the week by junior Maddy Chase (Pleasant Prairie, WI/St. Joseph’s) after posting a .364 average at the plate (8-for-22) with three RBI and two runs scored. Chase also pitched 12 innings in the circle, earning a win, striking out six and holding opponents to a .319 average.