The Muskingum softball team swept the Marietta Pioneers on Tuesday to clinch an Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament berth. The Muskies locked in the opener, 12-3 in six innings and claimed the nightcap, 9-6.
- Records: Muskingum (27-9 overall, 11-3 OAC), Marietta (17-15 overall, 6-8 OAC)
- Location: Marietta, Ohio - Marietta Field
- With the sweep, Muskingum clinched a spot in the upcoming OAC Tournament scheduled for May 3-5. The tournament is reserved for the top four teams at the end of the regular season and is held on the campus of the regular season champion. Muskingum currently sits in second place in the league and trails first place Ohio Northern by one game. The Muskies host Ohio Northern for Senior Day on Saturday, April 27.
Sophomore Karsyn Shaffer amped up the Muskies in the top of the second inning with an RBI single down the left line. Junior Kasey Rininger then scored on Pioneer error to give the Muskies a 3-0 lead on Marietta. Meade registered a two-run single to left field to secure a five-run edge on the Pioneers (5-0). Senior Rachel Eberling closed the inning for the Muskies with a sacrifice fly, to score sophomore Riley Powers and expand the deficit to 6-0.
Kayla Alderson blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning in an attempt to close the gap, but the Muskies could not be halted.
Muskingum locked in one run in the fifth inning and five runs in the sixth inning en route to the dominating 12-3 victory over the Pioneers. Meade highlighted the sixth inning for the Muskies with an RBI-double to center field, while Rininger locked in an RBI-double to left field.
Meade went 2-for-4 at the plate and guided the Muskies with a team-best four RBIs and tallied one double. Rininger went 2-for-3 at the plate, chipped in two RBIs, and registered one double. Freshman Haley Hawk led the Muskie offense with a team-high two stolen bases.
Eberling registered her 10th victory in the circle for the Muskies after pitching a complete game six-hitter, with two strikeouts.
Alderson went 2-for-2 at the plate and directed the Pioneers with a team-best three RBIs and cranked one home run. Maddi Liston took the loss for Marietta after tossing 1.1 innings, allowing six runs on five hits, with two strikeouts.
Marietta secured two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
Reagan Tom blasted an RBI double to left center to expand the gap to 3-0. Tom scored on a wild pitch to give the Pioneers a four-run edge on the Muskies going into the bottom of the second inning (4-0).
In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore Riley Powers halted the Pioneer momentum with an RBI-single to right center. Meade then reached on a fielders choice, to score Hughes and trim the lead to 4-2. Senior Kylie Zifer blasted a two-run single to left field to tie the score 4-4. The Muskies took the 6-4 lead when sophomore Bailey Waitkus cranked a two-run single down the left line. Hughes rounded out the scoring with an RBI single to left field to expand the gap to 7-4.
Hannah Richardson retaliated with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to get the Pioneers within one-run of the Muskies (7-6).
Meade answered with a home run in the top of the sixth inning to widen the gap to 8-6. Sophomore Shaena Mayer scored on a Pioneer error to lock in the 9-6 victory for the Muskies.
Meade guided the Muskies with two RBIs and blasted one home run. Zifer and Waitkus each chipped in two RBIs and tallied one double.
Freshman Hannah Smith registered her 10th victory of the season for the Muskies after pitching six innings, allowing four runs on five hits, with two strikeouts.
Richardson led the Pioneers with a team-best three RBIs and cranked one home run. Alyssa Cook amassed one RBI and tallied one triple. Jackie Mulvain took the loss for Marietta, after tossing 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits, with two strikeouts.
The Muskies next travel to Tiffin, Ohio to battle the Heidelberg Student Princes on Friday, April 19. Game one of the doubleheader is slated for 1:00 p.m.