By Seth J. Walker
Detroit- The Lawrence Tech Blue Devils (18-14, 11-9 WHAC) split their final WHAC regular season games in a Tuesday doubleheader against Northwestern Ohio (22-10, 8-6 WHAC). The Blue Devils won the first game, 4-1 and lost the second one by the same score.
In game one, sophomore Alexa Cherney pitched a complete game for the Blue Devils, striking out eight batters and only allowing four hits. Offensively, the Blue Devils scored three of their final three runs in the fifth inning after scoring their first in the third inning. All but one batter had a hit.
“Taking the first game was huge,” Blue Devils head coach Karen Baird said. “UNOH was coming into the game very hot. Their hitters were hot, and for us to step and take that first game, that was awesome.”
In game two, the Blue Devils struggled early on, allowing three runs in the first two innings, leading a to a pitching change from freshman Sydney Coe to sophomore Sydney Schultz. Afterwards, they only allowed one more run, but only scored one of their own, a solo home run in the fourth inning by sophomore shortstop Dana Bingham, her first of the season.
“First pitch, she threw me up high and I swung and missed,” Bingham said about that at-bat. “Then (on the) second pitch, I knew she was going to come lower, so I just got ready, loaded up and drove the ball.”
Bingham had two hits in each game and is now ranks third on the team with a .343 batting average and tied for second with a .392 on base percentage.
The Blue Devils currently sit in sixth place in the WHAC standings, with the top eight qualifying for the conference tournament. Though the Blue Devils are now done with the conference portion of the regular season, the tournament picture isn’t clear yet, as other teams still have conference games left. Fortunately, for the Blue Devils, their spot in the tournament appears secure.
“Honestly, in this conference, there’s a ton of parity right now,” Baird said. “Any given day, anybody’s going to take it. The best part is that we’ve beaten almost everybody in the conference. Madonna, Cornerstone, we didn’t, but we feel very confident going into the WHAC tournament.”
The Blue Devils have since lost both games of their Wednesday doubleheader to non-conference opponent Cleary, 6-4 and 5-2 and now await their fate for the WHAC Tournament, which begins May 2 in Sylvania, Ohio.