ERIE, PA. – Senior Brittany Sostre (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge/Walsh) homered twice, including a grand slam, and junior Megan Foley (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) added a three-run shot as the Lake Erie College softball team earned a 9-6 victory over host Mercyhurst College in the first game of a nonconference doubleheader on Wednesday (March 30). Freshman Jennifer Gratz (Richwood, Ohio/North Union) hit a grand slam in the second game but it wasn't enough as the Storm fell 13-5in five innings.
The Storm (7-15) trailed 2-1 heading into the third inning of the first game before loading the bases on a single, walk and error. Sostre cleared the bases with a blast over the fence in left center to give the Storm a 5-4 lead. An inning later Foley connected to left field for her first home run of the season to push the lead to 8-4 and Sostre followed with her ninth dinger of the season, just clearing the fence down the left field line, to put the Storm firmly ahead.
Mercyhurst (16-14) closed the gap to 9-6 on a three-run homer by Courtney Smith. Freshman Lindsay Hershberger (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville) came on to record the final two outs and close the win for classmate Sarah Shields (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo).
Shields (3-6) battled through 6 1/3 innings to earn her second straight victory. She scattered six hits and walked six, but allowed just three runs prior to the Smith homer with one out in the seventh.
Sostre and Foley each had two hits and scored twice while freshman Juliana Brotzman (Madison, Ohio/Madison) went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Emily Redig had two hits for the Lakers. Megan Hopton took the loss after allowing five runs in three innings.
Foley's sacrifice fly in the first inning of game two gave the Storm a quick 1-0 lead, but it was short lived. Michelle Schmitz had an RBI double and Sydney Cusinco had a two-run single in a four-run bottom of the first for the home team. The Lakers added six more in the third, highlighted by a two-run homer by Schmitz.
The Storm closed within 10-5 in the fifth on Gratz's first collegiate home run, but Mercyhurst scored three times in the bottom of the frame to end the game.
Brotzman had two more hits in the nightcap, finishing with five on the day. Junior Ali Heming (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) went 2-for-3 in the game.
Four Lakers each had two hits. Amanda Norman picked up the win, after going four innings and allowing five runs on five hits. Junior Sam Ronde (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) was charged with the loss, allowing five earned runs (nine total) in 2 2/3 innings.
The Storm, which has now split its last two doubleheaders, is scheduled to open a four-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division series with Tiffin University on Saturday, April 2.