By Mike Anderson, NKU Sports Information
Game 1 box score | Game 2 box score
TIFFIN, Ohio – The Northern Kentucky University softball team had the offense rocking against Tiffin, downing the Dragons by a 17-1 score to complete a non-conference doubleheader sweep on Thursday.
In the nightcap, the Norse (26-20) exploded for a nine-run second inning, punctuated by an RBI-triple by April Ehlers and a three-run homer by Ashley Gates. Gates would go yard again in the third inning for her 10th long ball of the season, tying NKU’s single-season record set last year by Katybeth Coode.
The freshman added an RBI-double to close out her 3-for-3, six RBI game.
Jessica Farris joined in the hit parade, going 4-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs as she extended her hitting streak to 11 games. Ehlers’ triple was part of a 3-for-4 game.
Ehlers (13-12) shined in the circle as well, giving up a run on just two hits while striking out nine in the win.
The 17 runs plated by the Norse are the most since a 21-0 drubbing of Bluefield State (W.Va.) on March 9, 1997.
The run-rule defeat closed out a doubleheader sweep that began with a 4-3 NKU win in Game 1.
The offense came late in the opener, as Cara Parker got the Norse on the board with a bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth inning. A two-run double by Amanda Smith in the seventh frame capped a 3-for-4 game and extended the lead.
Tiffin (21-21) came back with a last-chance flurry in the bottom of the seventh, plating a run on a Stephanie Bobotas single before Tiffany Smith brought in two more with a double off NKU’s Chelsie Roy (13-8), who gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out four batters in 6 2/3 innings. Ehlers came in to strike out Tiffin’s final batter to earn her second save of the season.
NKU will close out its conference season on Saturday in a doubleheader against Bellarmine. The Norse will honor their seniors – Shatona Campbell, Cara Parker and Amanda Smith – in a ceremony between games. First pitch is scheduled for noon.