Softball drops two on opening day of NAIA Leadoff

Softball drops two on opening day of NAIA Leadoff

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team opened the 2020 season with two games on day one of the NAIA Leadoff Tournament Thursday at The Dome in Rosemont, Ill.

The Wolverines let a lead slip away in game one, as Saint Xavier University rallied for a 6-4 win. UM-Dearborn put together a late rally of its own in game two against Olivet Nazarene University, scoring four times in the seventh to force extra innings. ONU outlasted the Wolverines in nine, topping UM-Dearborn 9-7.

The losses start the season for the Wolverines with a record of 0-2.

Against SXU, Amber Cheplick gave UM-Dearborn a 4-0 lead with a grand slam home run in the fourth inning. The Cougars answered with one in the fourth and three in the fifth to tie the game. SXU went ahead in the sixth with two runs and held on for the win.

Erin McCune took the loss on the mound, tossing 5.1 innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits, while walking two and striking out two.

The Wolverines fell behind 1-0 against ONU, but took the lead on a two-run error in the fourth. The Tigers took control with three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to move in front by four. Madelin Skene started the UM-Dearborn rally with an RBI double in the seventh. After an error scored two more, Kayla Laquiere came through with an RBI double to tie the game at 6-6.

In extras, each inning started with a runner on second base according to tournament rules. After ONU score one in the top of the eighth, Marisa Vermiglio found her first career RBI to tie it in the bottom half. The Tigers scored two in the ninth and held on for the win.

Ashlynn Henderson got the start and pitched 6.1 innings, allowing six runs, just one earned, on nine hits, while striking out two and walking one. McCune (0-2) was charged with the loss in relief.

The Wolverines play two more at the NAIA Leadoff Tournament on Friday starting against the University of Saint Francis (IN) at 3:15 pm (EST).