Softball finds its stride after weeklong road trip

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Last week, the SVSU softball team won doubleheaders against Ohio Dominican and Purdue Northwest and split a series with Davenport.

The Lady Cards’ weeklong road trip was capped off in Allendale on Sunday, March 25, as the Cardinals took on Grand Valley, which concluded after The Valley Vanguard’s time of publication.

Head coach Todd Buckingham has been pleased with his team’s performance as the young season has progressed. Going into Sunday’s games, the team found itself at 12-11 overall.

“Right now, we are playing as a (complete) team,” Buckingham said. “We have always had the talent and the drive to perform well, but now I think we are all striving to be the best teammates as we can, and it is really helping our performance.”

The Cardinals swept the series against Ohio Dominican on Sunday, March 18, winning by a score of 3-1 in the first game and a score of 10-4 in the second game.

Against Purdue Northwest on Wednesday, March 21, the Cardinals accumulated 13 runs in two games and swept the series against the Pride.

In the first contest, the Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, with a two-RBI single by Danielle Hamilton that drove in Evy Lobdell and Courtney Reeves.

The Cards extended their lead to 3-0 when a sacrifice fly from Julia Miller allowed Maddy Burgess to score. In the top of the fifth, Reeves hit a solo home run to stretch the lead to 4-0 for the Lady Cards.

The Pride recorded a two-run homer in the seventh inning to bring them within two runs of the Cardinals, but that would be the last runs scored in the game.

Mikayla Alexandrou (4-3) pitched six and one-thirds innings and picked up a win.

In the final game of the series, the Pride jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning.

The Cardinals responded as they took a 7-2 lead over the Pride after a solo homerun by Miller and RBIs from Meagan VerVaecke and Meredith Rousse. VerVaecke, Hamilton and Becky Corbett also scored runs on errors.

In the third inning, Aubree Mouthaan extended the lead with a solo homer to push the lead to 8-2.

The final run was scored by the Cardinals when Lobdell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, driving in the ninth and final run of the shortened game that ended in five innings due to darkness. Anna Conrad improved to 7-2 on the season after pitching all 5 innings in the second game.

Alexandrou has recognized the run that the Lady Cards have been on as of late and wants to see the team improve even more.

“Our hitters have been doing an outstanding job in the past few games, as well as our pitchers,” she said. “We’re all just playing loose and relaxed and having a lot of fun while we play.”

The first game of the Davenport series on Friday, March 23, did not bode well for the Cardinals, as they dropped the first game to the Panthers 8-0.

The only hit recorded for the Cardinals was a base hit by Hamilton.

Alexandrou (4-4) recorded her fourth loss on the season. She allowed four runs and seven hits in her outing while also striking out four batters and recording two walks.

During the second game, The Cardinals tied a season high with 15 hits and recorded nine runs to take a 9-0 win and a series split.

SVSU scored at least one run in every inning, and Conrad (8-2) allowed only two hits from the Panthers.

The first run came from a Reeves RBI single that brought in Lauren Bachert for the score. The second run was scored by Becky Corbett off of an RBI single from Hamilton. In the third inning, a double by Mouthaan brought in Lobdell and Rousse to give the Lady Cards a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, Rousse brought in Burgess with an RBI single, giving the Cards a 5-0 lead. The fifth inning saw Lobdell score on a throwing error that pushed the lead to 6-0.

The sixth inning brought an end to the scoring in the game. An RBI infield single by Julia Miller scored Bachert. Lobdell drove in an Alexis Cerven run with an RBI single, and Mouthaan notched an RBI double to drive in the game’s final run by Miller.

SVSU returns to action this week against Northwood on Tuesday, March 27, and again against Ferris State on Saturday, March 31.

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