May 4, 2013
Findlay, Ohio - A tremendous pitching effort and one timely base hit lifted #9 Grand Valley State past Ashland 1-0 on Saturday afternoon (May 4) in the winner's game of the 2013 GLIAC Softball Tournament. GVSU advances to the tournament championship game on Sunday (May 5) and the Lakers will have two chances, if necessary, to win their first conference tournament title since 2006.
On Friday's opening day, Grand Valley State defeated Findlay (3-0) and Ohio Dominican (3-1) to face Ashland, as the Eagles also won both of their games on Friday. The Lakers are the tournament's #1 seed, while AU is #3. With Saturday's victory, GVSU is 39-4 on the season and winners of 12 straight games, while Ashland drops to 27-17 overall. Grand Valley State, the back-to-back GLIAC regular season champions, has not won the GLIAC Tournament championship since doing so in the 2006 season.
The Lakers will take on sixth-seed Wayne State on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for the tournament championship. On Saturday, WSU won three times, defeating Ohio Dominican (4-1), Findlay (5-4 in 10 innings), and Ashland (3-2) to advance to the title game. Wayne State will have to defeat GVSU twice in order to win the GLIAC Tournament championship. When the two teams met on Apr. 13 in Detroit, the Lakers swept WSU 17-2 and 7-2.
Saturday's game was quite a pitcher's duel between Grand Valley State's Hannah Santora and Ashland's Amber McDermott. Santora, a First Team All-GLIAC pitcher, retired the Eagles in order in the first and second innings and GVSU left a total of three runners on base in those frames.
Both pitchers would continue to strand runners - the Lakers left seven runners on base in the game, AU stranded four - and keep the score deadlocked at 0-0. Santora induced a popup to end the fifth inning, when Ashland had a runner on third base with two outs. In the top of the sixth, the Eagles put runners on second and third with two outs, but Santora again got a pop-up to get out of the jam.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Lakers finally pushed through on the scoreboard, doing so with two outs. Senior Emily Jones had a terrific at-bat, working an eight-pitch walk. Up next was senior Kayleigh Bertram, who drilled a pitch to left center field that rolled to the wall. Bertram cruised into second base with a two-out double and Jones came all the way around from first base to put GVSU on top, 1-0.
Santora finished things off in the seventh, using a groundball, an infield popup, and a weak flyball to right field to end the contest. In one of her top outings of the season, the righthander allowed just four hits and did not issue a walk. She struck out two batters and needed just 75 pitches to complete the game. Santora is now 21-1 on the year.
Both teams had just four base hits each, with no player having more than one hit. Bertram, Nellie Kosola, Katie Martin, and Tonya Calkins had the four Laker hits, with Bertram and Martin each recording doubles. The game took just one hour and 16 minutes to complete.