PAINESVILLE, OHIO - The Lake Erie College softball team had an impressive showing while splitting a pair of games at the first day of the Salem Tournament in Salem, Va. The Storm (4-6) dropped a hard fought battle against the tournament host, No. 15-ranked West Virginia Wesleyan College (18-3), 2-1, and then defeated Bluefield State College, 9-0 in the nightcap.
In the opening game, the game remained scoreless for three innings as freshman starting pitcher Sara Shields (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo) was strong in the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, Lake Erie jumped on the board first with a solo home run by senior Brittany Sostre (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge/Walsh), her third long ball of the season. During the bottom half of that frame, Wesleyan finally struck, with a pair of home runs giving the home team a 2-1 advantage and knocking Shields from the contest. Junior Sam Ronde (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) came on and shut the Bobcats down the rest of the game, but the Lake Erie offense could not get to Wesleyan for any more runs.
In the second game, the Storm got an outstanding effort on the mound from freshman Dawn Ondercin (Sheffield, Ohio/Brookside) to pick up her first college victory. Ondercin (1-2) was nearly flawless as she worked a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits while striking out nine Lady Blues. The game was close for much of the way as Lake Erie plated one run in the first innings and the score stayed 1-0 until the sixth inning when the Storm added an insurance run. In the seventh, Lake Erie's offense exploded for seven runs to seal the victory.
Sostre picked up where she left off in game one as she hit her fourth home run of the season, and second of the day, and had a pair of hits in the game. Sophomore Chelsey Bleck (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) also had two hits in the game.
Lake Erie back in action tomorrow (March 19) at the Salem Tournament as they take on West Virginia State at 11:00 a.m. and East Stroudsburg at 1:00 p.m.