May 11, 2013
Allendale, Mich. - A dominant pitching effort and some old-fashioned power hitting gave #9 Grand Valley State a 4-0 victory over #22 Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday morning (May 11). The Lakers hit a pair of home runs in the middle innings, knocking off the Tritons and advancing to Sunday's regional championship game.
It was just the second time all season that GVSU had faced a nationally ranked opponent, moving to 2-0 in such games. The Lakers are the #2 seed in the region, while Missouri-St. Louis is the #3 seed. With the win, Grand Valley State is 41-6 overall, while UMSL drops to 40-12. GVSU advances to Sunday's tournament championship game and will again face Missouri-St. Louis at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday (May 12).
The Lakers scored eight runs on 12 hits against the GLIAC Pitcher of the Year (Ferris State's Dana Bowler) on Friday, but had to come back against the GLVC Pitcher of the Year on Saturday. Missouri-St. Louis freshman Hannah Perryman was in the circle for the Tritons, going up against GVSU's Hannah Santora, a First Team All-GLIAC selection.
GVSU put two runners on base against Perryman in the first inning (the Lakers were the visitors via a coin flip), but she worked her way out of trouble. The game remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when Grand Valley State was able to break through.
After Perryman retired the first two batters, junior Briauna Taylor notched a strange bunt single over the head of the UMSL first baseman that nearly rolled into the outfield. On the very next pitch, senior Katie Martin crushed a home run high over the scoreboard in left field that put the Lakers ahead, 2-0. The roundtripper is her 18th of the season and the 57th of her career. The GLIAC all-time home run leader, Martin is now tied for fifth in Division II history with those 57 homers.
Leading off in the top of the fourth inning, senior Emily Jones hit a towering home run to center field to give GVSU a 3-0 advantage. Jones has six homers this season and her 18 career dingers are eighth-most in school history.
Santora continued to keep Missouri-St. Louis off the bases and more importantly, off the scoreboard. The Tritons were able to put two runners on base in the fifth inning when Ashleigh King hit a short infield pop-up near Taylor at shortstop. Taylor easily made the catch for the second out and flipped the ball to senior Kayleigh Bertram at second base for the inning-ending double play.
GVSU added one final run in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Taylor ripped a single back up the middle. Martin followed by lining a ball down the right field line and past the UMSL outfielder. Taylor came around to easily score from first base, while Martin slid into third base with her third career triple. Against Ferris State on Friday, seven of the Lakers' eight runs came with two outs. On Saturday, three of the four runs were scored by GVSU with two outs.
Santora retired the Tritons in order in the bottom of the seventh inning, closing out her sixth shutout of the year. The righthander has 13 career shutouts. She moves to 23-2 on the season, allowing three hits and two walks over seven innings. Santora recorded three strikeouts.
Taylor, Martin, and Jones each had two hits in the game, with Martin (home run, triple) and Jones (homer) collecting the game's only extra base hits. Martin picked up three RBI, giving her 75 ribbies on the season (three shy of tying the school record) and 232 career RBI (six shy of the GVSU all-time record). Taylor crossed home plate twice in the win.
Perryman gave up three runs on four hits in three innings pitched. One of the top strikeout pitchers in all of Division II, she fanned just four batters. Relief pitcher Brittni Chapman allowed one run on four hits in the final four innings.