UNI Softball sweeps through Indiana State - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Softball sweeps through Indiana State

Senior Jaye Hutcheson earned a pair of wins against the Sycamores to improve her record to 7-and-6 this season. Senior Jaye Hutcheson earned a pair of wins against the Sycamores to improve her record to 7-and-6 this season.

The University of Northern Iowa Softball team continued their hot start to conference play over the weekend, sweeping through the Indiana State Sycamores.

The Panthers continued their formula of seasoned experience in the pitching circle, combined with power at the plate, to improve to 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

UNI got the scoring started in the top of the first inning with a Gina Brown RBI double that plated Hannah Borschel. But that would be far from the end of the Panther scoring.

In the second inning, UNI broke the game open with five runs coming across the plate, thanks in large part to three Sycamore errors, and a two-run single from Laura Turner.

After a Haley Kriener RBI single in the third inning, Indiana State answered with an unearned run, scored by Megan Stone, after a UNI error at second base.

But that was all the offense that the Sycamores could muster, as UNI responded with another four runs in the top of the fifth inning, and Panther Pitchers Jamie Fisher and Jessica Severinsen rang up a combined four Indiana State batters to end the game in the fifth, due to the mercy rule, with an 11-1 victory.

Brown went 3-for-4 at the plate in game one, while tallying one RBI, and Whitney Plein was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Senior Mackenzie Daigh also continued to stay hot at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI.

Fisher earned her tenth win of the season, going a solid four innings, allowing just one unearned run on three hits, while striking out four Indiana State batters.

In game two on Saturday, the first half of the game proved to be much more of a pitcher's duel, as Panther Senior Jaye Hutcheson and Indiana State's Lindsey Beisser pitched matching shutouts through the first four innings.

In the top of the fifth, the Panthers finally got on the board, thanks to a Courtney Dunker RBI double, which scored Borschel. Dunker was then brought home by Plein, who reached on an error by the Sycamore right-fielder.

Hutcheson continued to stay stellar through the final innings, and the Panthers padded their lead with five more runs in the top of the seventh frame, thanks to RBI singles from Olivia Aten, Plein, and Turner. That would be more than enough, as the Panthers came away with a 7-0 shutout win.

Hutcheson earned the win, going all seven innings, striking out seven, while a Sycamore single in the fourth inning, was the only thing between Hutcheson and a no-hitter.

On Sunday, the Panthers had to grind out a more close-fought battle in extra innings to earn their second conference sweep of the season.

UNI got off to a fast start, as Brown went yard for the fourth time this season, scoring Borschel and Turner in the process.

A sacrifice fly by Daigh, and a Turner RBI single in the second frame gave the Panthers a fast 5-0 lead, and it looked like UNI would pick up, right where they left off on Saturday.

But Indiana State wasn't ready to let this game slip away, as they scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the third, thanks to a fielding error by the Panther infield.

The Sycamores cut the Panther lead to 5-3 in the third, and Hutcheson came in to relieve Fisher in the bottom of the fifth. But she could do little to stop the bleeding, as ISU added another two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, thanks to an RBI single from Stone, and a bases loaded hit-by-pitch, which knotted the game at 5-5.

Hutcheson locked down the bats after that point, and sent the game into extra innings, where the Panthers had been 0-and-2 so far this season.

This time around though, the Panthers came through in the top of the eighth inning, as Borschel scored Turner on an RBI single, which was followed by a Dunker RBI double, scoring Borschel from second base.

Indiana State put two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth, but Hutcheson kept them off the scoreboard, to give UNI the 7-5 victory, earning them their seventh straight victory, and their second conference sweep in as many weekends.

Hutcheson earned the victory to improve her record to 7-and-6 on the season, after pitching the final four innings, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits, while recording two strikeouts.

Borschel led the Panthers at the pate in the series' rubber match, going 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.

The Panthers now sit in a tie for first place in the conference at 6-0, while their overall record is now 20-9.

The Panther softball team will be in action again on Tuesday, as they travel to Ames for a match up with the Iowa State Cyclones, and they will return to conference play this weekend, as they travel to Wichita, Kansas for a three-game series with the Wichita State Shockers.

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