FINDLAY, Ohio - The Saginaw Valley State University softball team rode a five game winning streak into the winner-take-all title game of the 2015 GLIAC Softball Tournament on Sunday (May 3) at the Marathon Diamonds in Findlay, Ohio. Despite another strong performance in which SVSU jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the finale, the Warrior chipped-away at the Cardinal lead and eight unanswered runs to claim a 10-9 victory in the bottom of the seventh inning.
After Wayne State scored a pair of early runs in the bottom of the second inning, SVSU answered with four in the top of the third to take the 4-2 advantage. An RBI triple from Madison Burgess scored DeAnna Stickler-Gatson for the first run. Shelby Weeks followed and ripped a deep home run to left center field for the second and third runs. Evy Lobdell would later single and be pushed across the plate by a Nicole Romain RBI double for the fourth run.
SVSU starter Sarah Appold hung a zero for the Warriors in the bottom of the third and the Cards had another big inning in the top of the fourth, going for five runs to extend the lead out to 9-2. An RBI single up the middle by Burgess brought home Danielle Hamilton, who singled to start the inning. Mackenzie Rousse would then rip a two-RBI single, scoring Burgess and Stickler-Gatson. Meredith Rousse would later add to the five-run inning with a two-RBI single of her own, plating Weeks and Mackenzie Rousse.
The Warriors would chip away at the Cardinal lead, going for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the bottom of the third to make the score 9-7.
Saginaw Valley had a runner in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings but weren't able to add any insurance runs. The Cards still, however, carried a two run edge heading into the last of the seventh inning.
The Warriors got a lead-off single and a fielder's choice followed with an out at second to make it one out and a runner on first base. The Warrior runner moved up to second base on a wild pitch and would be brought home by an RBI single, making the score 9-8. After a walk gave Wayne State runners on first and second with one out, the Warriors got another RBI single to knot the score at 9-9. With runners now on first and third, the Warriors had a line drive to right field, where SVSU's Meredith Rousse caught the ball for the second out. With Wayne State's runner going on the tag, Rousse gunned the ball in, but the Warriors scored on the close play to take the dramatic victory, 10-9.
The teams combined for 29 hits in the contest, with the Cards getting 13 of those.
Mackenzie Rousse had a 3-for-4 effort in the second game with two RBIs and a run scored. Burgess was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and runs as well. Weeks had a two-run home run and Meredith Rousse added two RBIs for the Cards as well.
Appold got the start in the nightcap for SVSU, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing six earned runs on 11 hits. Sarah Vrabel (12-8) took the loss in a relief effort, allowing three runs in 2.1 innings of work.
Saginaw Valley's record is now at 33-19 overall for the 2015 season and the Cardinals will await the results of the 2015 NCAA Division II Postseason selection show to see if they will be chosen to participate in the postseason. The show is set for Monday (May 4) morning at 10:00 a.m.