The old saying goes, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish."
No one on Ashland University's softball team is going to overlook a 2-0 beginning to the 2019 season, however. On Friday (Feb. 22) at the Lewis Flyers Division II Midwest Region Dome Invitational, the Eagles earned a pair of wins against Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents.
In the first game of the new season, Ashland used early offense, strong pitching and a last-minute defensive save to defeat the Flyers, 2-1.
Senior right fielder Halle Dorko gave the Eagles the only runs they ultimately would need on a two-out, two-run double. Those runs were enough for senior pitcher Hannah Stroe, who authored a complete-game five-hitter with four strikeouts and two walks.
The final score was cemented by a diving catch for the final out of the game by Ashland sophomore left fielder Emma Lawson.
Senior third baseman Paige Summers was 2-for-4 with a run scored in the victory.
On Friday afternoon, Ashland used a three-run bottom of the third to topple William Jewell, 5-2. With the score tied at 1, the Eagles received a two-run double from junior shortstop Bree Gill and an RBI single from sophomore pitcher Laney Jones to jump in front, 4-1.
That was more than enough run support for Jones, who scattered six hits and three walks and struck out five in the complete-game victory. She also was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI at the plate.
Dorko and Summers each added two hits to the Eagles' 10-hit attack.
Ashland will finish Dome Invitational play on Saturday (Feb. 23) at 7 p.m. vs. Missouri S&T and 9 p.m. vs. Lindenwood.