PAINESVILLE, OHIO – It took Lake Erie College (5-14, 2-4 GLIAC) just one weekend to match its conference win total from a season ago as it defeated Northwood University (5-13, 2-4 GLIAC), 8-7, in the second game of a doubleheader to earn a split on the day at Kiwanis Recreation Park in Painesville, Ohio.
The Storm dropped game one, 8-0, in six innings.
As the "visiting" team in game two, Lake Erie struck first as senior catcher Megan Foley (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) got a two-out double and was brought home when sophomore Juliana Brotzman (Madison, Ohio/Madison) singled to right. Brotzman moved to second when sophomore Jeniffer Gratz (Richwood, Ohio/North Union) walked and was driven in on a line drive base hit to center by sophomore third baseman Krista Haley (Holland, Ohio/Springfield Holland).
Senior Sam Ronde (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) retired the Timberwolves in order in the first with a pair of strikeouts but gave up a solo home run to shortstop Stacey Klonowski.
Lake Erie got that run back in the top of the third with the first career home run by Haley. In the bottom of the inning however, a two-out error brought in one run and opened the door for the next batter, Klonowski, to hit her second home run in as many as at-bats to give Northwood a 4-3 advantage.
The Storm grabbed the advantage back with three runs in the top of the fifth. Junior outfielder Chelsea Bleck (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) led off the inning with a double to right center. Foley brought her in with a double to left center and came over when Brotzman doubled to left center. After a Haley sacrifice bunt, senior center fielder Haley Rathge (Edon, Ohio/Napoleon) brought in Brotzman with a single to right.
Northwood closed the gap to 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth with a solo run and threatened to add more before Ronde worked out of second and third, one out jam.
Senior pinch hitter Ali Heming (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) sparked the sixth with a single off the wall in right center. After a reached on an error and a failed bunt attempted, Foley again came through with an RBI single and Brotzman again followed suit with another RBI single to give the Storm an 8-5 lead.
Northwood's first four hitters reached base in the sixth, as Ronde was knocked from the game with the Storm clinging to an 8-7 advantage with two runners on and no outs. Sophomore Dawn Ondercin (Sheffield, Ohio/Brookside), fresh off a game one complete game, came on and got out of the jam with a foul out, strikeout and groundout.
In the top of the seventh, Lake Erie loaded the bases but was unable to add an insurance run. It would not matter as the only Timberwolves run to reach in the bottom of the seventh was via a two-out out error. Ondercin got the strikeout to pick up her first career save.
Each team had 15 hits in the contest. Foley and Brotzman each had three for Lake Erie while Haley, Rathge and freshman shortstop Maddi Klemp (Akron, Ohio/Coventry) all had a pair. Ronde worked 5+ innings for her second win of the season.
In game one, the Timberwolves got off to a fast start with a double and RBI single from the first two batters and then a two out two-run homer to right center for a 3-0 advantage. The Lake Erie offense started slowly with a lone base runner in the first three innings while Northwood added to its lead with two runs in the third. The score remained 5-0 until the sixth inning when the Timberwolves added three more runs without a hit as they benefited from three Storm errors.
Lake Erie had four hits in the game as Foley, Brotzman, Haley and junior outfielder Chelsea Bleck (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) all singled. Ondercin (3-6) took the loss for the Storm.
Lake Erie wraps up a five doubleheader home stand Wednesday with a non-conference doubleheader vs. Cedarville University at 3:00 p.m.