Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — TUCSON, Ariz. – Thanks to a pair of dominant pitching performances and a veteran continuing her hot streak at the plate, the Ashford University softball team picked up a pair of wins Thursday at the Tucson Invitational Games.
Sophomore Nicole Schmidt scattered five hits in a complete game, 2-1 win over the University of Great Falls (Mont.) in Game 1. In the second game, senior Kendra Roth one-upped her teammate, scattering nine hits in a 4-0 shutout of Michigan-Dearborn.
Junior Kalyn Ohlemeyer extended her hitting streak to 11 games in the opener. The Indianapolis native batted .571 (16-for-28) during the streak, which came to an end in Game 2.
“This is possibly the best day in the circle during my time here,” coach Kevin Jannusch said. “Both Nicole and Kendra did a great job scattering hits and stopping opposing rallies. Those two are proud teammates, and they motivate each other. Kendra was excited for Nicole’s performance, and she wanted to match it in her start.”
“Kalyn is on crazy fire out here. It has been a while since we’ve had a longer streak than her 11 games. She is showing patience at the plate in her pitch selection and has been a great two-strike hitter. She hitting like we expect a veteran to hit and I am very proud of her.”
Ashford wasted little time giving Schmidt all the run support she needed, thanks to a two-out, two-run double off the bat of sophomore Siera Spahiu that brought Britnee Dobbs and Katelyn Hair across the plate for her sixth and seventh RBIs of the year.
From there, Schmidt, from Beaver Dam, Wis., kept the Argo hitters off balance with a mix of fastballs and offspeed pitches. Great Falls plated a run in the fifth and loaded the bases with one out before Schmidt got a pair of groundouts to get out of the jam.
Schmidt finished with four strikeouts while allowing one free pass to improve to 2-5 on the year.
In the second game, the Ashford offense scored early when senior Nicole Interrante drilled a two-out pitch to the left-center field gap, bringing home Ohlemeyer from first base to make it 1-0 after one inning.
It proved to be enough for Salem, S.D., native Roth, who scattered nine hits throughout the game and battled out of jams in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings on her way to stranding 13 Wolverines on base.
The AU offense gave its starter a little breathing room in the top of the seventh inning when Ohlemeyer, Hair and Payton Geeting all collected RBIs to stretch the lead to 4-0. UM-D put another pair of runners on with no outs in the seventh, but Roth closed the door on the shutout by inducing a trio of flyouts to end the game.
Roth walked one batter and struck out one to run her record to an even 4-4 on the year.