April 21, 2013
Columbus, Ohio - Terrific pitching and timely hitting led #9 Grand Valley State to a big road doubleheader sweep on Sunday afternoon (Apr. 21) in Columbus. The Lakers captured a pair of victories over Ohio Dominican by scores of 6-0 and 6-1 in recording their third consecutive 30-win season.
After splitting with Tiffin on Saturday (Apr. 20), Grand Valley State completed a strong road trip by sweeping Ohio Dominican, which entered the weekend in third place in the GLIAC standings. The Lakers are now 30-4 overall and 18-2 in league play, while ODU drops to 18-24-1 overall and 13-7 in conference action.
Game one saw a pitcher's duel through the first five innings between GVSU's Hannah Santora and Ohio Dominican's Rachael Stanzel. Entering the sixth inning, the game was scoreless and there were just three combined base hits (two for the Lakers, one for ODU). Neither team had even pushed a runner past second base.
In the top of the sixth inning, senior Kayleigh Bertram reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second base a sacrifice bunt from junior Tonya Calkins. With two outs, third baseman Miranda Cleary - who smashed a walk-off home run against Tiffin on Saturday - delivered again. The junior slugger homered to left field, driving in Bertram, and putting Grand Valley State up by a 2-0 count.
Santora worked through another scoreless half inning to bring GVSU to the plate in the seventh. The Lakers loaded the bases on an infield single from Emily Holt, a single from Nellie Kosola, and another infield base hit from Briauna Taylor. Senior Katie Martin then unloaded the bases by hitting an opposite field grand slam home run to give the Lakers a 6-0 advantage. The roundtripper was Martin's 12th of the season and 51st of her career. She had not hit a grand slam coming into this season; the GLIAC all-time home run leader has three grand slams in 2013.
Santora nearly completed the shutout by retiring the first two Panthers in the seventh inning, but ODU's Taylor Thomas hit a solo homer for the only run of the game for the home team. In pushing her record to 16-1 on the season, Santora was dominant. She allowed one run on just three base hits, walking two, and recording six strikeouts. Santora received nine flyball outs in the game.
Kosola was the lone Laker with more than one base hit, as the leadoff hitter went 2-for-4. The only extra-base hits in the game were the home runs hit by Cleary, Martin, and Thomas. Martin (go-ahead solo homer in 6th) and Cleary (walk-off homer in 7th) also both homered late in game two against Tiffin on Saturday.
In game two, the Lakers pushed a run across the plate in the first inning. Taylor doubled to center field and moved to third base on a single from Martin. Bertram's sacrifice fly brought Taylor home and gave GVSU the early 1-0 lead. Freshman pitcher Sara Andrasik retired the next five batters before receiving more run support in the third inning.
After a one-out double from Kosola, Taylor reached on a fielding error by the ODU second baseman, scoring Kosola from second base. Later in the inning, Calkins and Cleary recorded back-to-back RBI singles, which scored Taylor and Bertram, who also reached on an error. The Lakers were now ahead, 4-0.
Andrasik continued to cruise through the ODU lineup, working through seven of the next eight batters she faced before finally facing some trouble in the sixth inning. After recording the first out, Andrasik issued three straight walks to load the bases. However, she responded by inducing a flyout and a swinging strikeout to end the threat.
The Lakers plated two more runs in the sixth inning. Holt notched a solo home run, her second of the season, to up the score to 5-0. Two batters later, Kosola singled to left field and came around to score on an RBI triple from Taylor.
GVSU's 6-0 lead stood up as Andrasik worked a perfect 1-2-3 seventh inning to complete the seven-inning shutout. It was the sixth complete game shutout for Andrasik, who improves to 14-2 on the year. In seven innings, she allowed just three hits and three walks, while striking out six batters.
The top three hitters in the Lakers' lineup - Kosola, Taylor, and Martin - each had two hits and a double, while Kosola and Taylor both scored two runs. Five of GVSU's nine hits went for extra bases, including the Taylor triple and Holt roundtripper.
Grand Valley State returns home to close out the regular season. The Lakers welcome Hillsdale, Findlay, and Lake Superior State next weekend (Apr. 26-28) in Allendale.