By Blake Moore
NEW CONCORD — The second-seeded Ohio Northern softball program dropped its opening game in the 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Friday morning with a 6-1 loss to third-seeded Baldwin Wallace at Donna J. Newberry Field in New Concord.
With the opening game loss, the Polar Bears fall to 21-18 overall on the season.
ONU will now face off against tournament host and top-seeded Muskingum at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday after the Muskies fell to Otterbein 5-4 in game two. The game was originally scheduled for Friday afternoon, but the matchup was postponed when play was suspended for rain.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets improve to 33-8 with the victory. They will now play the fourth-seeded Cardinals.
Junior infielder Brady Guest (Convoy/Crestview) guided the Ohio Northern offense with a solo home run in the fourth inning for the Polar Bears' lone run. The home run marks her fifth this season and the 10th in her three-year career.
Overall, Baldwin Wallace out-hit the Polar Bears 11-3 in Friday morning's contest.
In the circle, senior pitcher Kaitlin Surdej (Lancaster, N.Y./Central) surrendered just three earned runs in the contest. The Lancaster, New York native tossed all seven innings and added four strikeouts to the scorecard.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning on three hits and an ONU fielding miscue. In the home half, the Polar Bears loaded the bases with two outs, but were unable to answer the BW scores.
Baldwin Wallace extended its lead over the next two frames with one run in the second and another in the third stanza.
In the fourth inning, Guest blasted her solo shot over the center field fence to put Northern on the board and cut the lead to 5-1.
From there, both sides were held scoreless until the Yellow Jackets added an insurance run in the seventh inning on a Sami Minor home run.