March 24, 2013
Ashland, Ohio - Despite chilly late-March temperatures, the #17 Grand Valley State softball team stayed hot and completed a perfect 4-0 weekend after winning a pair of games over GLIAC rival Ashland on Sunday afternoon (Mar. 24). The Lakers scored nine runs in the first three innings of the opener and won, 10-5, before completing the sweep with a 6-4 victory in the nightcap.
The Lakers, ousted by Ashland from last season's Midwest Regional Tournament, garnered some revenge on Sunday by sweeping the Eagles on their home field. GVSU had won a pair of games on the same field over Malone on Saturday night, as the games were moved due to inclement weather. After the 4-0 weekend, Grand Valley State is 14-2 on the season and 4-0 in GLIAC play. Ashland drops to 8-11 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
GVSU found itself down 3-1 after the first inning of the opening game, but the Lakers responded with five runs in the second. Junior Brittany Taylor smacked a two-run double to left field to score sister Briauna Taylor and senior Nellie Kosola, as both players reached on walks. Immediately following was senior Katie Martin, who delivered a run-scoring single to give Grand Valley State a 4-3 lead. After Martin stole second and moved to third on a passed ball, right fielder Emily Jones easily scored Martin on an RBI double.
Jones came around to score when junior Tonya Calkins singled to right field. The AU outfielder misplayed the ball and Jones scored on the error to put GVSU on top, 6-3. Senior righthander Hannah Santora used this momentum and set the Eagles down in order in the bottom half of the frame.
Three more runs came for the Lakers in the third stanza. A run was scored on another Ashland error, but Jones provided two more runs of support with a two-run single to right center, scoring Martin and Brittany Taylor. The Lakers were up 9-3 and Santora worked around a harmless one-out single in Ashland's next at-bat.
Senior catcher Emily Holt concluded the GVSU scoring with a solo home run to left field, making the lead 10-3 at that point. Ashland would notch single runs in both the fourth and seventh innings, but Santora would work out of trouble and strand six Eagles on base over the final four innings.
In moving to 8-0 on the season, Santora allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits. She walked four and struck out two. The righthander tossed a complete game shutout in game one against Malone on Saturday, then earned a save in the seventh inning of game two.
Jones was the lone Laker with more than two hits, as she went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Brittany Taylor scored three runs and picked up a pair of RBI, while Martin and Holt each crossed home plate twice.
Game two saw AU tally a run in the first inning off freshman Sara Andrasik, but Grand Valley State answered with four runs in the bottom half. Senior Kayleigh Bertram walked with the bases loaded and two outs to tie the game at 1-1 just moments before junior Miranda Cleary singled to left field to bring in another run. Holt came up clutch with a two-out, two-run single to center field that upped the Laker lead to 4-1.
Ashland would put runners on base in both the second and third innings, but Holt threw out both runners on attempted stolen bases. She ended the second inning by stopping Jamie Weber, who was trying to steal third base. Andrasik would keep the score at 4-1 by allowing just three hits in the first four innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, GVSU provided a few more runs of insurance. After Brittany Taylor walked with two outs, Martin crushed a two-run homer to center field to up the advantage to 6-1. It was the 43rd home run of her career, leaving her just three roundtrippers shy of tying Kim Biskup's school (and conference) record of 46 dingers.
Andrasik retired nine of 10 batters in a row over the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but ran into some trouble in the seventh. The Eagles had pushed a run home on a sacrifice fly and two runs on a Laker error. However, with two outs and two runners on base, Andrasik struck out Taylor Menhart looking to end the game.
The freshman, Andrasik, moves to 6-1 on the season. She gave up four runs (just one earned) on five hits in the seven innings. She walked three and struck out five Eagles in earning her second GLIAC victory in as many tries.
Martin went 2-for-4 with a double, the homer, two runs scored, and two driven in. Holt added a pair of RBI, while Jones notched her fifth double of the weekend.
GVSU returns to Allendale with hopes of opening the home portion of its schedule on Wednesday afternoon (Mar. 27). The Lakers will take on Wisconsin-Parkside at 3:00 p.m. in a non-conference doubleheader in Allendale.