Rounding the bases on a strong season

The Saginaw Valley State University softball team has continued its strong play heading into the final weekend of the season. With the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tournament coming up, it is a great time for the team to get hot.

The team bettered its record after going 4-1 over the weekend against Tiffin University, Ohio Dominican and Wayne State, respectively.

The Valley Vanguard

Courtesy Photo | Jamie Loubert

Behind the combination of strong pitching from starters like Samantha Willman, (above,) and an explosive offense, the SVSU softball team has won 15 of its last 17 games and looks to stay sharp heading into the GLIAC tournament in May.

Sunday’s two-game set against Wayne State began with some fireworks on the part of the Cardinals, who took the first game in extra innings, 1-0. Junior pitcher Sarah Appold started the game for the Cards and went the distance, logging eight solid innings while only allowing five hits, a walk and strking out seven batters.

The offense waited until the end of the game to make its presence felt. With two outs and a runner on second, senior Nicole Romain drove in the lone run of the contest, giving SVSU a 1-0 victory.

Game two saw some fireworks, but the kind that the Cards were hoping for. Wayne State jumped out early on junior Sarah Vrabel. The right-handed pitcher surrendered a run in the bottom of the first inning before giving up five more in the fourth.

Defensively, the team left much to be desired as SVSU booted four potential outs in the route and could never recover. The Cardinals ended up dropping the contest, 6-1.

SVSU kicked off the two-game battle at Tiffin University where the Cardinals split. The Cardinals struck quickly on an error and an RBI single by senior Marcy Medina, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Tiffin responded shortly after in the second, hitting a solo home run off Appold to pull within one. Appold would go on to shut Tiffin out for the rest of the game, allowing only three total hits in the game to earn the victory.

Saginaw Valley got on the board first in the second game as well, with Romain driving in the first run on an RBI double. The pitching battle between Vrabel and Tiffin’s Sarah Brown began, neither pitcher surrendered a run until Tiffin knotted the game at one in the fourth.

Seven innings were not enough for either team, and the game went into extras. Tiffin took advantage of a tired Vrabel, loading the bases in the eighth and clearing them with a grand slam. The Dragons would add one more before taking the 6-1 victory.

SVSU rebounded quickly for an early morning first pitch at Ohio Dominican University. Fatigue proved to be no factor as the Cardinals jumped out to an early lead yet again in the first, picking up two runs on a single from freshman Meredith Rousse. ODU bounced back in the bottom of the first, doubling in two runs to tie the game off of Appold.

The Cardinals took control of the game in the second when redshirt freshman Evy Lobdell singled in a run to regain the lead, and added another on a throwing error on the play. Romain continued her strong play hitting a three-run home run in the third to allow Appold to sail to a 10-4 victory.

Saginaw Valley set the tone yet again in the second game, scoring the first runs in the third on a two-run double by Medina. A two-run home run by Ohio Dominican in the fourth was quickly responded to by junior Jessica Wood with a two run bomb of her own. The Cardinals added four more runs to earn the win in six innings.

The Cardinals will now be looking forward to continuing their dominant play in the GLIAC tournament next weekend, May 1-3, at the Marathon Diamonds in Findlay, Ohio. Saginaw Valley’s strong finish has put them in the top four of the conference, and will set up for a good seeding in the tournament.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015 and is filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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