Lake Erie College (10-38, 2-28 GLIAC) held the lead in the sixth inning or beyond in both games of a doubleheader against Ohio Dominican University (14-36, 9-23 GLIAC), but both slipped away in 8-5 and 6-5 losses at Kiwanis Recreation Park in Painesville, Ohio.
Three Lake Erie seniors closed out their college careers, with third baseman Brittany Sostre (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) doing so in style. Sostre hit two more home runs, extending her season and career Lake Erie records to 16 and 24, respectively, and closing out her collegiate career with 44 dingers.
Game two saw Lake Erie jump out to a 2-0 lead with solo runs in the first and third innings. Freshman first baseman Juliana Brotzman (Madison, Ohio/Madison) singled home freshman Jeniffer Gratz (Richmond, Ohio/North Union) after a leadoff double in the first and a two out single from Sostre in the third scored Brotzman all the way from first base.
In the fourth inning, senior starter Lauren Malicki (Independence, Ohio/Independence) finally got into trouble in her final career start and exited with the bases loaded and no one out. Freshman Dawn Ondercin (Sheffield, Ohio/Brookside) came on and was able to limit the damage, allowing two runs to score.
Gratz helped the Storm reclaim the lead in the top of the fifth when her RBI double scored senior outfielder Danielle Finkler (Chardon, Ohio/Berkshire). In the bottom of the inning, Ondercin was able to work out of a bases loaded jam with a strike out looking.
Lake Erie added some insurance runs in the sixth when junior outfielder Haley Rathge (Edon, Ohio/Napoleon) hit a two-run homerun to left, bouncing off the top pole of the fence and over for her second round tripper of the season. In the bottom of the frame, ODU rallied for three runs to tie the game at 5-5.
In the seventh, Lake Erie got its first two runners on base, but a fielder's choice and two fly outs ended the potential rally. In the bottom of the seventh, Caitlin Chaney led off with a walk off homer to center field.
Malicki worked three-plus innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Ondercin went the final three-plus frames and allowed six hits and four runs with a pair of strikeouts.
Lake Erie outhit ODU in game two, 10-8, with Brotzman accounting for three and Gratz and Sostre stroking a pair each.
In game one, it was a battle of big innings as each team scored in only two innings despite the 8-5 final. In the top of the third, Ohio Dominican plated a pair of unearned runs when a throwing error into an unmanned area of left field cleared the bases. The score stayed that way until the fifth when a towering fly ball from Sostre barely cleared the center field fence to give Lake Erie a 3-2 advantage.
The score stayed that way until the seventh when Lake Erie was two outs away from the victory with one runner on when the wheels fell off. A reached on a fielder's choice started a stretch of five straight batters reaching, with a two-run homer from Caitlin Chaney culminating the six-run rally to give the Panthers a 8-3 lead. Sostre hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, a monstrous shot to left, for her second long ball of the game, but the Storm could do no more.
Freshman Sara Shields (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo) struck out eight batters, allowing 12 hits and eight runs (six earned).
Sostre had a single to go along with the pair of home runs and Gratz had two hits in the game as well.
The doubleheader closed out the 2010 season for the Storm with the 10 wins signifying the most in a season during Lake Erie's three years as a member of NCAA Division II.