Panthers show pocket Aces - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panthers show pocket Aces

EVANSVILLE, Indiana - The UNI softball team snapped their three-game Missouri Valley Conference losing streak after sweeping a doubleheader over Evansville. The Panthers won decisively in game one, 9-0, and battled back to score the final six runs of the game to win game two, 10-6, in extra innings. The doubleheader sweep improves UNI's MVC record to 7-3 and 23-11 overall on the year, while Evansville falls to 0-12 in league play and 8-22 overall.

Game One: UNI 9, Evansville 0

Junior Jen Larsen threw a complete game six-hit shutout and also went

2-for-4 at the plate with a home run to lead the Panthers to a 9-0 game one victory over the Purple Aces.

Larsen improves to 12-5 on the season in the pitcher's circle after earning the win. She also moves into a tie for fifth on UNI's career home list after she hit her 21st home run of her career. Kylie Wagner

(4-11) took the loss in the circle for Aces after pitching a complete game.

The Panthers scored the first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning after senior Morgan Paulson's solo home run. The homer was the second of the season and fourth of Paulson's career.

The Panthers added another run in the top of the fifth after junior Samantha Waters' first RBI of her Panther career.

Larsen slammed her fifth home run of the season to start the sixth inning, and senior Brittney Balduf blasted a three-run home run in the top of the sixth to break the game open for the Panthers, 6-0. The homer was the seventh of the season for Balduf and her third home run of the week.

The Panthers added three more runs in the top of the seventh inning after Rachel Gerking's RBI double, Paulson's second RBI of the game, and sophomore Eranne Daugharthy's RBI single.

Game One Notes: The Panthers hit at least three home runs in a game for the fourth time this season. Senior Brittney Balduf hit her seventh home run of the season to move in her a tie for second on the MVC home run list this season...Larsen hit her 21st home run of her career and is tied for fifth on UNI's career home runs list.

Game Two: UNI 10, Evansville 6 (8 innings) The Panthers exploded to score four runs on five hits in the top of the eighth inning to earn a 10-6 win over the Purple Aces in game two. The Panthers pounded out 11 hits in the win, and scored the final six runs of the game.

Freshman Jaye Hutcheson (4-1) picked up the win after pitching the final four innings of the game. Hutcheson allowed four hits and no earned runs. Panther redshirt freshman Melissa Tillett pitched the first four innings of the game allowing five hits, four earned runs, and struck out three batters. Jennifer McKee (4-9) took the loss for Evansville after pitching a complete game 11-hitter.

The Panthers pushed the first run of the game across the plate after Rachel Gerking's RBI single allowed freshman Mackenzie Daigh to score.

Gerking leads the MVC with 33 RBI on the year.

Evansville responded with two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-1 lead after the Aces scored on a bases loaded hit by pitch and a bases loaded walk in the inning.

UNI senior Crystal Keiper's RBI single evened the scored at 2-2 in the top of the second inning. Freshman Hannah Borschel reached base on error and stole second before scoring on Keiper's hit.

The Purple Aces pushed two more runs across the plate in the bottom of the third to gain a 4-2 edge over the Panthers after three innings of play.

UNI knotted the score for the second time in the game after scoring two runs in the top of the fourth. Megan Machovec's RBI groundout allowed the first Panther run to score, and Brittney Balduf scored on a wild pitch to tie the score.

The Purple Aces scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to go in front, 6-4. The Aces scored two runs in an inning in three of the first five innings.

Senior Kelly Papesh blasted her MVC-leading 11th home run in the top of the sixth inning to bring the Panthers within a run of the Aces, 6-5.

Papesh ranks fourth on UNI's all-time career home runs list (22), and needs four more home runs to break UNI's single season home run record.

The homer was also the third of the week for Papesh.

The Panthers tied the score in the top of the seventh inning after Jen Larsen's RBI single to center field scored Machovec. Machovec reached base on an error to start the inning.

The Panthers then survived a scare in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Aces had runners on second and third with two outs, but a groundout to Hutcheson allowed the Panthers to extend the game.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game since the first inning after Papesh's RBI single put the Panthers ahead, 7-6. Machovec followed a two-RBI triple to right field and Daigh added an RBI double to give the Panthers their biggest lead of the game, 10-6.

Game Two Notes: The Panthers are 4-1 in extra inning games this year...Freshman Hannah Borschel had her first two hit game of her career...Megan Machovec notched her MVC-leading fourth triple of the year...Junior Rachel Gerking has drove in at least one run in 20 of 34 games played. She leads the MVC with 33 RBI...Senior Kelly Papesh

Notes: The doubleheader sweep clinched a series victory for the Panthers over the Purple Aces. The Panthers had not won a series over Evansville since 2002...The seven MVC wins for the Panthers are the most since the

2005 season.

Up Next: The Panthers will wrap up their three-game series with the Aces tomorrow at 12 p.m.

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