By Tim Glon
ADA — The Ohio Northern softball team won a share of the Ohio Athletic Conference Regular Season title with a 7-6, 10-4 sweep of Capital Saturday afternoon at the ONU Softball Field.
With the victories, the Polar Bears (20-17, 12-6 OAC) will be the No. 1 seed in the OAC Tournament and will host the tournament May 2-4.
Capital ends its season 21-19, 5-13.
"I am so proud of our players," ONU head coach Ali Hess said. "All year long they have stayed the course and believed in what we were doing. Everyone contributed all year - offense, defense, pinch-running, pinch-hitting - everyone has been ready to go when they were called on."
Sophomore Amanda Lahti drilled a two-out, bases-loaded, walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to lead Ohio Northern in Game 1.
After CU opened the game with four runs in the top of the first, senior Colleen Baliga had a 2-out, 2-run single to key a 3-run bottom of the inning to pull ONU within 4-3.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Tessa Topp led off the inning with a double and freshman pinch-runner Courtney Hendershot scored on a double by junior Adriana Sikora to make it 5-4.
Junior Kelly Sheridan then scored on a wild pitch to tie the score at 5-5.
CU regained the lead with a run in the top of the sixth, setting up a thrilling final at-bat for ONU.
Sheridan singled home freshman pinch-runner Megan Hupp to tie the game at 6-6 with one out, then Lahti followed with a two-out single to plate the winning run.
Freshman Paige Ordean improved to 13-9 in the circle with the complete-game win.
In Game 2, senior Bree Hiteshew hit a RBI ground out to second base in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game at 1-1.
ONU scored seven runs in the bottom of the third, capped of by 3-run home run from Topp, to take a commanding 8-1 lead and cruised to the win.
Senior Christin Miller moves to went 4-for-7 on the day and now has 248 hits in her career. She is just one hit shy of ONU's all-time career hits record of 249 set by Mandi Fought from 2007-10.
Freshman Kirsten Burden took the win on the mound and improved her record to 7-8 on the year.
The Polar Bears will warp up their regular season on Monday with a non-conference double header against Wittenberg at 3:30 pm at the ONU Softball Field.