PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Saginaw Valley State University softball team notched their first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) wins today (Mar. 23) defeating Lake Erie 2-0 in game one and 8-0 in five innings in game two. With the wins the Cardinals improve to 9-7 overall on the season and 2-0 in the GLIAC, while Lake Erie falls to 3-12 overall on the season, and 0-2 in the GLIAC.
The Saginaw Valley offense stuck early when junior Kailah Happ (Waterford, Mich. / Kettering HS) led off with a single up the middle. Happ would advance to third on a Natalie Wellman (Fairhaven, Mich. / Anchor Bay HS) single to right field and cross home on a Storm error, giving the Cardinals the 1-0 lead.
SVSU tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning when Lindsey Hayward (Ancaster, Ontario) led off the inning with a double through the left side of the field. Pinch hitter Katie Smith (Clarkston, Mich.) laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved pinch runner Samantha Sutton (Armada, Mich.) to third and Sutton came around to scored when senior Kalie Burdick (Milford, Mich.) hit a sacrifice foul deep into left field.
The Lake Erie offense would be unable to put anything together allowing the Cardinals to go on to a 2-0 victory.
Junior Jillian Williamson (Unionville/Sebewaing, Mich./Unionville Sebewaing Area HS) got the start in the circle, hurling a one hitter through seven innings with five strikeouts. Williamson is now 2-6 overall on the season and 1-0 in the GLIAC. Burdick ended the contest with a run batted in, while redshirt freshman Amanda Kimes (Caledonia, Mich.) went one-for-two at the plate.
The Cardinals took the quick lead in game two as they scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning when Hayward doubled to left center allowing Wellman to score from third.
Saginaw Valley extended their lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the second when they scored six runs on five hits and three Storm errors. The first two runs crossed the plate when Happ singled to third, allowing both Mackenzie Rousse (Bay City, Mich. / Western HS) and Devon Eley (Centreville, Mich.) to score. The Cardinals took the 5-0 lead over Lake Erie when Wellman followed Happ's hit with a double to left field bringing in both Happ and Coffin. SVSU tacked on their fifth run of the inning when Hayward reached first on a Storm fielding error, allowing Wellman to cross home. The final run of the inning came in on a Mallie Hall (Chicago, Ill./Bolingbrook HS) single up the middle that brought in Hayward.
The Cardinals added one more run in the bottom of the third inning to secure the five inning mercy. Kimes would single up the middle and come around to score when Happ hit a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing the SVSU go on to a 8-0 victory over Lake Erie.
Junior Alexa Gehrls (Caledonia, Mich.) picked up her seventh win of the season pitching three innings, with no hits and four strikeouts, while Jill Kaltz (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Henry Ford II) closed the game pitching the final two innings with two strikeouts. Wellman led the way for Saginaw Valley going two-for-three at the plate with two RBI's, while Happ had one hit and three RBI's.
The Cardinals will be back in action on Saturday (Mar. 24) when they travel to Ashland for a double header. First pitch is scheduled for noon.