Lady Pioneers take a pair from Ohio Northern

Alexis O’Hair and Lauren Larrick each tossed complete game victories as the Marietta College Lady Pioneers swept a double header from the visiting Ohio Northern Lady Polar Bears 8-1 and 4-1 Friday to remain undefeated in Ohio Athletic Conference play.

O’Hair limited the Lady Bears to seven hits and a run in the opener while Larrick allowed an unearned run on just five hits in the nightcap.

“We got really outstanding pitching today from both Alexis (O’Hair) and Lauren (Larrick),” said Jeanne Arbuckle, in her 26th season as Pioneer head coach. “They both were right on and did a really good job of keeping Ohio Northern off balance.”

The Lady Pio’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opener in the second inning when shortstop Michelle Sayre singled and came around to score on a double by Ali Keller.

Hannah Tarski followed with a base hit to score Keller.

Ohio Northern got on the board in the top of the third on a run scoring double by Kelly Sheridan.

Marietta College would open some daylight in the last of the fourth on RBI hits from Keller, third baseman Sarah Mayo and catcher Ris McDaniel to increase the lead to 5-1.

Trayla Liles drilled her second home run of the season, a three-run shot over the left field fence, in the bottom of the sixth to round out the scoring.

O’Hair took care of things the rest of the way, walking just two hitters and fanning three to secure her firth win of the season in seven decisions.

Marietta College did all of their damage early in the night cap as they jumped on Polar Bear starting pitcher Abbey Bensing for four runs in the first inning.

With one out Mayo singled and came all the way around to score on a double to left by McDaniel for the first run of the game.

Liles followed with a single and both runners came around to score on a 2-run double by Courtney Kerwood.

Center fielder Hannah Tarski produced the fourth run of the inning with a solid single down the left field line and the Lady Pio’s had a 4-0 lead after just one inning.

The Pioneers struggled to come up with the one big hit that might put the game out of reach as they left the bases loaded in the first, second, and fourth innings, and also left a pair of base runners on base to end the fifth.

Ohio Northern loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth, but Larrick (5-3) was able to minimize the damage as she limited the Bears to just one unearned run.

The Pioneers, who improved to 13-5 on the season, have now won six of their last seven games and eight of their last ten, improving to 4-0 in OAC play, while Ohio Northern slipped to 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the conference.

“I think Ohio Northern is really a very good ball team despite their record,” said Arbuckle. “They are very well coached and very capable and we feel very fortunate to come away with a couple of wins.”

Next up for the Lady Pio’s is a double header Wednesday at Wooster.