UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University softball team split with Hillsdale College today (Apr. 10) defeating the Chargers 7-3 in game one, before falling 1-0 in the nightcap. With the split Saginaw Valley moves to 16-16 overall on the season and 9-9 in the GLIAC, while Hillsdale moves to 18-16 overall on the season and 10-9 in the GLIAC.
Saginaw Valley took control of the contest in the top of the third inning when they scored five runs on six hits and one Charger error. The Cardinals got a 1-0 lead over Hillsdale when freshman Jordan Randall (Clinton Twp., Mich.) doubled down the left field line, bringing in pinch runner Samantha Sutton (Armada, Mich.). Senior Natalie Wellman (Fairhaven, Mich./Anchor Bay HS) gave SVSU the 2-0 lead when she hit a deep sacrifice fly to right center that allowed Ashley Coffin (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stephenson HS) to tag up and come home from third base.
The Cardinals extended their lead to 3-0 when sophomore Lindsay Hayward (Ancaster, Ont.) drove a single to left field, scoring Randall. Saginaw Valley scored their final two runs of the inning when Jenna Holmes (Jenison, Mich.) dug in and laced a double to the fence that scored both Kailah Happ (Waterford, Mich/Kettering HS) and Hayward.
Saginaw Valley tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving them the commanding 7-0 lead over Hillsdale when Wellman singled through the infield allowing Randall and Coffin to score.
The Charger offense was able to put something together in the top of the fifth inning when Kate Hoop hit a three run homerun over the right field fence. SVSU was able to keep Hillsdale to only two base runners in the remaining two innings and defeat the Chargers 7-3.
Junior pitcher Alexa Gehrls (Caledonia, Mich.) picked up the win for Saginaw Valley pitching all seven innings with 13 strikouts, and allowing only four hits. Wellman led the way for the Cardinals going three-for-three with three runs batted in, while Hayward was two-for-three and scored once.
Hillsdale scored the lone run of the contest in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back doubles by Taylor Schulty and Laura Homan, that would allow them to take the 1-0 victory over the Cardinals.
Saginaw Valley looked to start something in the top of the third when Devon Eley (Centreville, Mich.) drew a lead off walk and pinch runner Sutton would step in to run for her. Sutton advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and would move to third on a single up the middle by Randall, but was not able to come around to score for SVSU.
The Cardinals started another rally in the top of the fifth inning when Ashley Beal (Milan, Mich.) singled to left field and moved to second on a groundout to first base. Pinch runner Mackenzie Rousse (Bay City, Mich./Western HS) advanced to third on a passed ball, but the Hillsdale defense would shut down the Cardinal offense.
Jillian Williamson (Unionville, Mich./USA HS) suffered the loss pitching six innings, while Randall, Hayward and Beal would add one hit each for the Cardinals
Saginaw Valley will be back in action on Friday (Apr. 13) when they take on Wayne State University in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) contest at the SVSU Sports Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 PM.