UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University softball team split with Northwood University today (Apr. 1) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest. The Cardinals fell to the Timberwolves 6-5 in game one and defeated them 7-6 in eight innings in game two.
Northwood took the early lead over SVSU when they scored one run on three hits in the top of the first inning.
Senior Natalie Wellman (Fairhaven, Mich./Anchor Bay HS) gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead over the Timberwolves when she hit a double to right center that brought in Devon Eley (Centreville, Mich.) and Ashley Beal (Milan, Mich.).
Northwood regained their lead in the top of the fourth inning when they had back-to-back singles, each bringing in a run.
The Timberwolves tacked on another run in the top of the fifth inning when they loaded the bases and walked in a run, giving them the 4-2 lead over SVSU.
Saginaw Valley came within one of Northwood in the bottom of the fifth inning when Wellman laid down a bunt that allowed Jordan Randall (Clinton Twp., Mich.) to score from third.
The Timberwolves added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning when Sam Zoborowski hit a two-run home run over the left field fence.
The Cardinals continued to battle back by scoring two runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth inning, but it would not be enough as Northwood would go on to a 6-5 victory. The two runs came across the plate when Eley double to right center, driving in both Beal and Kaitlyn Kenyon (Tecumseh, Mich.).
Junior Alexa Gehrls (Caledonia, Mich.) suffered the loss, pitching 5.1 innings, while Jillian Williamson closed the game throwing 1.2 innings. Wellman led the way for the Cardinals going two-for-four with three RBI's, while Eley was two-for-three with two RBI's and Beal went two-for-three scoring twice.
Northwood jumped out early on the Cardinals in game two, taking a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on three hits.
Saginaw Valley answered back in the top of the second, taking the 4-3 lead on four hits. The first two runs cross the plate when Kailah Happ (Waterford, Mich./Kettering HS) laced a double to left field that brought in Randall and Ashley Coffin (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stephenson HS). Sophomore Lindsay Hayward (Ancaster, Ont.) followed with a single up the middle that drove in Wellman and Happ.
Northwood took a 5-4 lead over SVSU in the bottom of the second inning when Andrea Martin hit a two-run home run over the center field fence.
The Cardinals took the lead for the second time in the contest in the top of the third inning when they scored two runs on three hits. The first run of the inning crossed the plate when Coffin hit a sacrifice fly to right field allowing Beal to score from third. Randall gave SVSU the 6-5 lead when she singled to center field scoring Amanda Kimes (Caledonia, Mich.)
Northwood tied the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Zaborowsi hit her second home run of the day. Neither team would be able to put another run up on the board in the remaining two innings as the game went into extra innings.
Coffin started things off for the Cardinals in the top of the eighth inning when she laced a leadoff double to center field and advance to third on a groundout. Wellman laid down a suicide squeeze that gave SVSU the only run they would need in order to secure the 7-6 win over the Timberwolves.
Jill Kaltz (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II) got the start in game two pitching 1.2 innings, while Williamson picked up the win throwing 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and allowing only two hits. Haywad led the way for the Cardinals going three-for-four at the plate with two RBI's, while Coffin was two-for-three and scored twice.
Saginaw Valley will be back in action on Wednesday (Apr. 4) when they take on Lake Superior State University at home. The double header is scheduled to start at 3:00 PM.