Lake Erie softball celebrated its three seniors – outfielder Danielle Finkler (Chardon, Ohio/Berkshire), pitcher Lauren Malicki (Independence, Ohio/Independence) and third baseman Brittany Sostre (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) – and each was a big contributor, but Lake Erie fell in a pair of tight GLIAC battles, 6-4 and 3-1, to Ohio Dominican University in Painesville, Ohio.
Malicki started game one and worked scoreless in the first four frames. She lasted 4.1 innings and allowed five hits and a pair of runs. Sostre was five-of-seven with a pair of runs batted in while Finkler was two-of-three with three walks.
In a battle of GLIAC newcomers, the Storm fell to 9-29 and 1-19 in the GLIAC while Ohio Dominican improved to 11-33 and 6-20 in conference play.
The Storm picked up a solo run in the first inning of game one, as Sostre drove home junior shortstop Lindsey Pennell (Columbus, Ohio/Westland) with a single to left. In the second ,it was Pennell doing the driving in as a poke to left scored freshman second baseman Krista Haley (Holland, Ohio/Springfield Holland) and Finkler. Finkler was then brought in by a single from freshman designated player Juliana Brotzman (Madison, Ohio/Madison) to put the Storm on top 4-0.
In the top of the third, the Panthers threatened to get to Malicki loading the bases with no outs but Malicki got out of the jam with her glove, starting a home-to-first double play and catching a line drive. In the fifth inning however, defensive miscues helped the Timberwolves to a five-run rally to take the 5-4 edge.
In the seventh, ODU used a leadoff triple to plate one more run. Lake Erie had a base runner in every inning of the game but was unable to plate any after the second inning, stranding 10 runners.
In game two, Lake Erie got on the board in the top of the first as a Sostre single drove home Brotzman who reached on a double. The Panthers responded with a run of their own in the first and took a 2-1 lead with an unearned run in the second.
Ohio Dominican picked up another unearned run in the fourth to go ahead 3-1. Lake Erie had a great chance to cut into the deficit in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out but a fly out double play ended the rally.
Freshman Sara Shields (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo) was a tough luck loser working a complete game and allowing three runs (one earned) while striking out three.
The Storm is back in action on Monday as they host GLIAC-leading Ashland University in a makeup doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m.