UNIVERSITY CENTER - Playing at home for the first time in 2015, the SVSU softball team hosted Hillsdale College in a GLIAC doubleheader at the SVSU Softball Complex. The Cardinals dropped the opener by a close 4-3 score before answering back with a huge 5-1 victory in the second game.
The split puts SVSU's record at 12-13 overall on the season and 2-2 in the GLIAC. The Chargers are now 9-11 and 2-2 as well in league play.
SV got ahead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring a single run to take the 1-0 advantage. DeAnna Stickler-Gatson led-off with a bunt single and was moved to second on a throwing error. A Mackenzie Rousse sacrifice bunt moved her to third before she was knocked in on an Evy Lobdell squeeze bunt.
The Cards added another run in the bottom of the third when Chelsea Adcock led the frame off with a solo home run, pushing the lead out to 2-0.
The Chargers put up their first crooked number of the day in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs to grab a 3-2 advantage. They added another in the top of the sixth to make the score 4-2.
Lobdell got a single to lead-off the bottom of the sixth and she was lifted for pinch-runner Danielle Hamilton with one out. Hamilton was caught stealing for the second out in what proved to be a big play in the outcome of the game. That is because Marcy Medina followed next with a home run, making the score 4-3.
After SVSU got out of another bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh, the home team got things going again in the bottom of the inning.
Madison Burgess pinch hit and knocked a single through the left side of the infield. She was lifted for pinch-runner Shelby Weeks, whom Burgess pinch hit for. Adcock moved Weeks up to second with a sacrifice bunt and a Stickler-Gatson walk put runners on first and second. A strikeout made two outs for the Cardinals with a runner still in scoring position in Weeks. Aggressive base running cost the Cardinals again, as Weeks attempted to steal third and was thrown out to end the game, sealing the 4-3 victory for the Chargers.
Medina had two hits with the home run, a run scored and an RBI in the game. Stickler-Gatson had two hits as well with a double and a run scored. Adcock had the home run while Lobdell had a hit and an RBI as well.
Sarah Appold (3-5) took the loss in the circle, tossing all seven innings while allowing four hits, four runs and striking-out 10 batters. She allowed nine walks in the game.
The Cardinals jumped out front in the nightcap as well, as Stickler-Gatson stroked a two-run home run over the scoreboard in left-center field to give SV the 2-0 advantage.
After Hillsdale cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third, SVSU took advantage of a potential inning-ending error and Meredith Rousse and Hamilton scored unearned runs to make the score 4-1.
Stickler-Gatson kept a hot bat in the top of the fifth, as she drilled a solo shot to right-center to extend the lead out to 5-1.
That's what the final score would stay, as SVSU starter Sarah Vrabel improved to 3-5 overall on the season after closing the door on the Chargers. Vrabel scattered six hits, allowing a single run. She posted seven strikeouts in the game.
Stickler-Gatson was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Cardinals.
Saginaw Valley returns to its home field Saturday (Apr.), as the Cards host the University of Findlay at 1:00 pm in another GLIAC doubleheader. The Oilers bring a record of 12-10-1 and 2-1-1 to University Center for the matchup.