May 5, 2013
Findlay, Ohio -Needing to win just once on Sunday (May 5) to take home the 2013 GLIAC Softball Tournament championship, #9 Grand Valley State fell in a pair of games to Wayne State. The Warriors took game one by a 1-0 final, which forced a winner-take-all second game. WSU captured the tournament title with a 5-0 victory in game two.
GVSU, the tournament's top seed, had won its first three games of the tournament by a combined score of 7-1. Wayne State, the sixth seed, lost its opening game to Ashland on Friday before rattling off six consecutive victories to win the tournament and earn the GLIAC's automatic berth in next week's NCAA Midwest Regional tournament.
Overall, Grand Valley State - winners of 12 straight games entering Sunday - is 39-6 on the season. Wayne State is 30-20 overall.
Game one was a classic pitcher's battle between GVSU's Hannah Santora and Wayne State's Briana Lee. Santora worked through the Warrior lineup in order in the first inning and the Lakers had their best scoring opportunity in the bottom of the frame. On Lee's first pitch of the game, senior Nellie Kosoladrilled a triple to left field to start things off. It was the 20th triple of her career, the most in school history. However, the next three Lakers were retired on a pair of flyouts and a strikeout to end the inning.
Still 0-0 in the third inning, Wayne State loaded the bases with three singles, two of which were bunt base hits. There were two outs and Santora worked to a full count before walking Stephanie Foreman, bringing in the first run of the game. Santora forced a flyball to get out of the jam and prevent further damage.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Lakers also loaded the bases on just one hit. Senior Emily Holt (single), junior Briauna Taylor (walk), and senior Katie Martin(walk) made the bases juiced, but Lee and WSU used a forceout to end the scoring threat.
That was the last good scoring opportunity for Grand Valley State, who left a runner on base in both the sixth and seventh innings. Pinch runner McKenze Supernawwas at second base with two outs in the seventh, but Lee recorded a strikeout to end the game and force the `if necessary' game.
Santora was the hard-luck loser, as she allowed just one run and scattered seven base hits. The bases loaded walk was her only free pass of the game. She struck out four Warriors. Santora is 21-2 on the season and her only two losses came in games where the Laker offense did not score a run.
GVSU had three hits - Kosola's triple, Holt's single, and a seventh-inning single from Tonya Calkins.
That loss forced game two, which again was all Wayne State. The Warriors used the exact same lineup from game one, including sending Lee into the pitching circle. Wayne State pushed two runs across the board in the top of the first inning off GVSU starter Sara Andrasik. A pair of run-scoring singles - including one off of Andrasik's leg - put the Warriors on top, 2-0.
WSU moved up 3-0 in the third inning with a pair of singles, including an infield RBI hit to increase the lead. The Lakers tried to answer in the bottom of the frame, as senior Emily Jones led off with a double. Two batters later, junior Brittany Taylorsingled off the pitcher, pushing Jones to third base with one out. The next two batters, however, struck out looking and ended the scoring chance.
The Warriors added two more runs in the sixth inning on two base hits and with the help of two GVSU errors on one play. Grand Valley State would manage two hits in the final two innings, but never pushed a runner past first base in those frames.
Andrasik (18-3) was saddled with the loss, giving up 10 hits and five runs, although only two of the runs were earned. She did not issue a walk, but did not record a strikeout.
In the two games, Lee kept Grand Valley State at bay. In 14 innings in the circle, she allowed eight hits and three walks, while striking out 11 batters. No Laker had more than one hit in either game. In addition to Jones' double and Brittany Taylor's single, Calkins, Martin, and junior Miranda Clearyalso recorded singles in game two.
GVSU now awaits its NCAA Tournament fate. The Lakers, the second seed in last week's Midwest Regional rankings, were in line to host an NCAA sub-regional, four-team tournament next weekend in Allendale. Indianapolis, out of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, was the top seed in the Midwest Region and looked to be the host of the other four-team sub-regional. The official announcement will be made during the NCAA Division II softball selection show being held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning (May 6). Stay tuned to gvsulakers.com for more information throughout the week.