#17 GVSU Plates 18 Runs in Sweep of Malone
Senior Nellie Kosola went 7-for-9 on Saturday, tallying three RBI and scoring six runs in the sweep
Senior Nellie Kosola went 7-for-9 on Saturday, tallying three RBI and scoring six runs in the sweep

March 23, 2013

Box Score - Game One (W, 8-0)

Box Score - Game Two (W, 10-8)

Ashland, Ohio - To kick off GLIAC play in the 2013 softball season, #17 Grand Valley State opened up with a pair of wins that could not have been more different. The Lakers were in complete control in game one, blanking Malone by an 8-0 score. Game two looked to be another blowout, as GVSU jumped out to a 9-0 lead before holding on to win the nightcap, 10-8.

The games were originally scheduled to be played at Malone's home field, but inclement weather forced the games to be moved. Since Grand Valley State was scheduled to play at Ashland on Sunday afternoon, the Lakers and Malone both traveled to Ashland and played after AU met Ferris State earlier on Saturday.

With the wins, Grand Valley State - which had not played since March 9th in Florida - moves to 12-2 on the season and 2-0 in GLIAC play. Malone drops to 6-6 overall and 0-2 in conference games.

In game one, the Lakers failed to score a run in the top of the first inning despite loading the bases with nobody out. GVSU was able to break through in the second inning, scoring four runs on three base hits. A bases loaded walk to senior Katie Martin made the score 1-0 and kept the bases juiced for senior Emily Jones. The rightfielder followed with a three-run double to clear the bases and put the Lakers ahead by a 4-0 count.

Jones struck again in the fourth inning. Leadoff hitter Nellie Kosola reached on her second infield single of the game and moved to third on a pair of sacrifices. With two outs, Jones singled up the middle and drove in Kosola to make the score, 5-0.

In the meantime, senior ace Hannah Santora was in the process of shutting down the Pioneers. Santora retired eight straight batters, including retiring the side in order in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Lakers added to their lead in the sixth, after junior Brittany Taylor started things with a leadoff double. Two batters later, Jones again came through with a double to left center, scoring Taylor for a 6-0 advantage.



The final tallies came in the seventh stanza. With two outs, Kosola recorded her fourth hit of the game and Taylor reached on an error. Next up was Martin, the school's all-time leader in doubles. She doubled to the outfield wall and both Kosola and Taylor raced around the bases to give GVSU an eight-run cushion.

That lead was more than enough for Santora, who blanked Malone for her first shutout of the year and eighth of her career. The righthander notched a GLIAC-high seven shutouts last season. On Saturday, Santora recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and allowed just three hits and two walks. She moves to 7-0 on the season.

Jones went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBI. Martin, who walked three times, was 1-for-2 with three RBI and a double. Kosola notched a 4-for-5 effort and scored three runs, while Taylor crossed home plate twice. Junior Miranda Cleary registered a 2-for-4 outing and scored a run.

Game two saw the Lakers pick up where they left off in game one. GVSU bolted out to a 9-0 lead by tallying two runs in both the first and second frames, while adding five runs in the third. Both Laker runs in the first inning came on wild pitches by Malone hurler Amy Donze. A sacrifice fly from Brittany Taylor in the second inning scored sister Briauna Taylor, who walked, stole second, and moved to third on a bunt single. The bunt came from Kosola, who later scored on an RBI single from Martin.

In the third inning, Briauna Taylor doubled to left field, which scored Cleary (reached on a fielder's choice) and moved KC Christopher (single) to third. Both Taylor and Christopher were brought home on a two-run single from Kosola, as the lead swelled to 7-0. A few batters later, Jones smacked another double, driving in a pair of runs and putting GVSU on top by a 9-0 total.

Things were looking good for freshman pitcher Sara Andrasik, who cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit and fanning five hitters. In the fourth inning, she struck out two of the first three batters before Malone began to pile up the walks. After a bases loaded walk scored the Pioneers first run, MU notched its first base hit, a two-run single that made the score, 9-3. A passed ball and a two-run double brought Malone back in the game at 9-6 before Andrasik struck out the final batter in the inning.

Sophomore Sarah Wyse relieved Andrasik in the fifth inning and immediately made her presence felt. The righty struck out all three batters she faced in the fifth, two of which were caught looking. She also retired the final three hitters in the sixth inning, including a looking strikeout to end the frame.

In the bottom of the sixth, Cleary doubled to right field with one out. Later in the frame, she scored on an RBI base hit from Kosola to make the lead 10-6. That run would prove to be big as Malone would mount one last surge in the top of the seventh inning.

Back-to-back doubles from the Pioneers to lead off the inning made the score, 10-7, and forced GVSU head coach Doug Woods to replace Wyse with Santora. The first two hitters against Santora singled, bringing the Laker lead down to two runs at 10-8. At this point, there was still nobody out and two Pioneer runners on base.

Santora was able to settle in, however, and retired the next three batters on a groundout and consecutive swinging strikeouts. Andrasik did notch eight strikeouts in her four innings in the circle, but also accumulated eight walks. She was touched up for six earned runs on just two hits. Santora earned her first save this season and second of her career

Offensively, Kosola went 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBI. During the doubleheader, she was 7-for-9 and scored six times. Martin was 2-for-3 and scored twice, while Jones drove in a pair of runs. Cleary and Briauna Taylor both crossed home plate twice in the win.

The Lakers will have a quick turnaround and face Ashland on Sunday afternoon (Mar. 24). GVSU will meet up with the Eagles in a doubleheader slated for a noon start.

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