Lower seed. Five-plus hour delay.
The Charger softball team kept up its winning ways in the conference postseason tournament Thursday afternoon, defeating top-seeded Ohio Dominican University 4-1 at Akron's Firestone Stadium.
The win allows Hillsdale, 20-26 overall, to advance in a winner's bracket matchup later Thursday night versus Kentucky Wesleyan.
Last year, Hillsdale buzzed through the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament field, going 4-0 to capture its first-ever conference tournament title. Hillsdale's path is much different, entering this year's tournament as the No. 8 seed. But that was not evident in the way the Chargers approached and played this first-round game.
Junior pitcher Dana Weidinger picked up the victory, doing a terrific job of making good pitches and getting outs when she needed them the most. The Panthers produced 11 hits in the game, but pushed across just one run, a testament to Weidinger's clutch pitching and the error-free defense she got behind her.
Weidinger struck out five batters, getting her first-career postseason victory. She forced the Panthers to strand 11 runners on base in the game.
Hillsdale is now 5-0 all-time in the G-MAC Tournament.
ODU tied the game in the fifth, but Weidinger ended the threat even though the bases were loaded with one out.
Hillsdale took the lead in the sixth when junior Victoria Addis singled home Sarah Wojcik, and Katie Kish sliced a single up the middle with the bases loaded, bringing home Addis and Anna Dixon. Weidinger took care of things from there.
Taylor, who despite hitting over .500 in conference games and was not voted all-conference, showed her wares in the win by going 2-for-4 and making a number of slick plays at third base that turned hard-hit ODU balls into harmless outs. Addis was outstanding, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, while Johnson added two hits and scored once. Sophomore catcher Madison Stoner played a focused game behind the plate and added two hits to the Charger attack.