Panther Softball Streak Ends at 5 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panther Softball Streak Ends at 5

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The UNI softball team dropped its first Missouri Valley Conference game of the season in the final game of a three-game series against No. 20 Southern Illinois, 4-0 at the Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex. The loss drops the Panthers to 19-8 overall and 5-1 in MVC play, while the Salukis improve to 3-3 in league play and 18-6 overall.

Saluki pitcher Katie McNamara was brilliant in pitching a complete game two-hitter and at one point retired 16 straight batters. McNamara also struck out five batters and improves to 8-1 on the season in the pitching circle. She has only allowed one earned run all season. UNI pitcher Jen Larsen (9-4) took the loss after pitching a complete game 11-hitter. Larsen struck out two batters in the loss.

The Salukis scored in the first inning for the third straight game in the series after Katie Wilson's RBI single to center field put Southern Illinois in front, 1-0. Southern Illinois ripped off three hits in the first inning, but a lineout double play allowed the Panthers to limit the damage to just one run in the inning.

Junior Megan Machovec and freshman Mackenzie Daigh led off the bottom of the first inning with singles up the middle for the Panthers only hits of the game. Larsen's fielder's choice and a fielding error loaded the bases with no outs. However, the Panthers were unable to push a run across the plate after Rachel Gerking's lineout double play and a groundout by senior Morgan Paulson.

Katie Wagner's RBI single to right field extended the Saluki lead to 2-0 in the top of the third inning, and the Salukis added another run in the top of the fifth inning after Katie Schmidt's bloop single to left field drove in a run.

Southern Illinois added their fourth run of the game in the sixth inning after Chelsea Held's RBI single to center field. Held ripped off eight hits in the three game series against the Panthers.

The Panthers will head to Ames on Wednesday, March 25 for their next contest. The first pitch between the Panthers and Cyclones is set for 4 p.m.

Notes: The Panthers won two of the three games in the weekend series against the Salukis...The last time the Panthers beat Southern Illinois twice in a season was in 1994...The last time the Panthers started MVC play 5-1 was in 2000 when they finished 11-7 in league play and tied for first place...Freshman Mackenzie Daigh finished the weekend series 4-for-8 at the plate with a home run and two RBI...This was the fourth time this season the Panthers have been shutout in a game...The Panther had a season-low two hits in the game.

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