March 29, 2013
Allendale, Mich. - While offense is usually the strong suit for #15 Grand Valley State, the Laker pitching and defense also played at a top notch on Friday afternoon (Mar. 29) in the team's doubleheader sweep of Walsh. GVSU captured 4-0 and 6-1 wins over the visiting Cavaliers, pushing the team's win streak to 11 consecutive games.
The Laker pitching staff of senior Hannah Santora and freshman Sara Andrasik combined to hold Walsh to one run on 13 hits in 14 innings. Both hurlers tossed complete games, as Santora collected a nine-hit shutout in game one, while Andrasik allowed just one first-inning run and four total hits. Combined, the two allowed just two walks, while recording nine strikeouts. Moreover, the GVSU defense did not commit an error in the two games.
GVSU improves to 18-2 on the season and a perfect 6-0 in GLIAC play, while Walsh - playing for the first time in three weeks due to a string of cancelled games - falls to 7-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
In game one, the Lakers looked like they would break a scoreless tie in the second inning. Grand Valley State loaded the bases with one out and junior Brittany Taylor sent a groundball up the third base line. The ball appeared to be caught in foul territory, but Walsh third baseman Kaliegh Cupka snagged the liner, tagged the runner at third and stepped on the base for a huge inning-ending double play.
Walsh's next at-bat saw pitcher Casi Rohr double to lead off the inning and move to third with one out. Calee Ruppel then hit a fly ball to center field, where senior Nellie Kosola was waiting. Kosola caught the ball for the second out and fired a perfect one-hop throw to Laker catcher Emily Holt, who was waiting to tag out Rohr for the second straight inning-ending double play.
The Lakers used that momentum to get on the board in the bottom of the third. Kosola led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Senior Katie Martin drilled a double down the left field line, with Kosola scoring easily. Right fielder Emily Jones followed with a bloop single, but Martin could not advance to third. She would move up, however, on a single from junior Tonya Calkins, rounding third and scoring to make it a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Brittany Taylor led off with a single to right center and was at second base with two outs. Martin again provided a double, this time to left center, that scored Taylor and gave GVSU a 3-0 cushion. Leading off the sixth inning was freshman McKenze Supernaw, who pinch hit for Briauna Taylor and singled sharply to left field. Taylor re-entered for Supernaw, then stole second base. She easily scored just moments later on Martin's third double of the game. This two-bagger also went to left center field and put the Lakers ahead, 4-0.
That would be all the run support that Santora would need. She scattered nine hits in her complete game shutout, the ninth individual shutout of her career. Santora walked one batter and struck out five to improve to 10-0 on the season. The last GVSU pitcher to start a season with a 10-0 record was former Laker great Jen Mackson in 2003.
Offensively, Martin went 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI. She now has 59 career doubles. While already being the GVSU career leader in that category, she is now tied with Wayne State's Alison Allen (2009-12) with 59 career doubles for the all-time GLIAC lead. The only other Laker with more than one hit was junior third baseman Miranda Cleary, who went 2-for-2 at the plate.
Game two saw Walsh put the first tally on the board, using a two-out single up the middle off Andrasik to take a 1-0 lead. Grand Valley State knotted the score at 1-1 in the third inning, as Brittany Taylor hit a line drive to right center field. It appeared that it would hit the fence, as Taylor looked to be heading for at least a double. The ball, however, bounced off the top of the fence and went over for her first home run of the season.
The Lakers took the lead for good in the fourth, when Calkins singled with one out. She moved to second on a wild pitch and scored two batters later when Cleary ripped a single to left field. GVSU pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fifth inning. Kosola reached on an error by the Cavalier second baseman and was able to walk home, as Martin crushed a home run to left field. It was her fifth roundtripper of the season and 44th of her career. With that homer, Martin became GVSU's career leader in total bases with 447, passing the previous record of 445 by former Laker slugger Kim Biskup (1997-2000).
GVSU put two more runs on the board in the sixth for Andrasik, who at one point retired 11 straight batters in the middle frames. In the top of the sixth, the Lakers loaded the bases as Calkins (leadoff single), Cleary (single) and Taylor Fris (walk) were all aboard with two outs. Kosola hit a sharp single to the right side and it found its way to right field for a two-run single, scoring both Calkins and Cleary for a 6-1 lead.
Andrasik retired the final five batters she faced and tossed a four-hit, one-run complete game performance. She is now 8-1 on the year. The righty gave up one walk and struck out four Cavaliers. All four Walsh hits in game two were singles.
Kosola went 3-for-4, reached base all four times, and tallied a pair of RBI. Calkins was 2-for-4 and scored twice, while Cleary went 2-for-3 in game two, finishing the doubleheader with a 4-for-5 outing.
The Lakers come back out on the field on Saturday afternoon (Mar. 30) for a conference twinbill with Lake Erie. Those games will start at 1:00 p.m.