UNI softball continues blazing start with sweep of Shockers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI softball continues blazing start with sweep of Shockers

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Sophomore Jamie Fisher earned her eleventh win of the season on Sunday, and recorded 16 strikeouts over the weekend. Sophomore Jamie Fisher earned her eleventh win of the season on Sunday, and recorded 16 strikeouts over the weekend.

The University of Northern Iowa Softball team got their conference schedule off to an historic start as they swept through Wichita State this weekend, pushing their conference record to 9-and-0, and their current win streak to 11 games.

This three-game set proved to be tougher than their first two series of the season, as the two Saturday games needed come-from-behind efforts from the Panthers to keep their conference record perfect.

In game one on Saturday, UNI got off to a fast start, scoring four runs in the first two innings. Samantha Reimer got things started with an RBI single in the first, and Melissa Walls added to the UNI lead in the second with a two-run double. The Panthers padded that lead with a sac-fly from Julia Hunter, but that was when they ran into trouble.

Sophomore Pitcher Jamie Fisher, who has been dazzling all year, pitched two shutout innings to start the game, but in the bottom of the third, the Shockers posted two runs on four hits to cut the UNI lead in half. And in the fourth inning, after two quick strikeouts to start the frame, WSU reeled off four more runs, thanks to a two-run triple from Rachel Milnark, who scored on a wild pitch, which was followed by a solo home run from Erin Carney to put the Shockers ahead 6-4.

A bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning brought the Panthers within a run of the Shockers, but things looked bleak going into the seventh frame.

The cardiac cats weren't ready to give up hope yet though. With Hannah Borschel and Haley Kreiner on second and third base with one out, Junior Samantha Reimer sent a three-run home run over the left field fence to put the Panthers up 8-6.

Sophomore Jessica Severinsen, who took over for Fisher in the fifth frame, pitched lights out over the last three innings, shutting the door on the Shockers in the bottom of the seventh to give UNI the 8-6 victory.

Severinsen earned the win for the Panthers, just her third win of the season, as she pitched the final three innings, allowing no runs and no hits.

Reimer finished the game going 3-for-3 with a run scored and five RBI, while Walls, who is just a freshman, went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI.

In game two on Saturday, the Panthers again jumped out to a quick lead, scoring two unearned runs in the first inning, thanks to a Shocker error and a pair of wild pitches.

But the Shockers answered in the bottom of the first frame, thanks to a 3-run homer from Carney to give WSU an early 3-2 lead.

Senior Pitcher Jaye Hutcheson shut down the Shocker bats at that point, and the Panther offense finally answered in the top of the fourth, when Allison Galvin led off the inning with a single, which was followed by a Whitney Plein 2-run blast. Later in the inning, Emma Plese would score on an illegal pitch to give the Panthers a 5-3 lead.

The Shockers knotted the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a 2-run single from Melanie Jaegers.

UNI again waited until the seventh inning to pull out the victory, as Courtney Dunker used a sacrifice fly to bring home Laura Turner for what proved to be the game-winning run.

Hutcheson sat the Shockers down in order in the bottom of the seventh to earn her ninth win of the season after going seven innings, allowing five hits and five runs, just two of which were earned, while striking out eight WSU batters.

On Sunday, in the series finale, the Panthers showed off their power on their way to yet another win.

Gina Brown first got the Panthers on the board in the second inning with a solo homer, which was soon followed by a 2-run shot from Walls, scoring Plein from first.

Freshman Julia Hunter tacked on a solo homer of her own in the fifth inning to give UNI a 4-0 lead.

The Shockers answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but that was as close as it got, as the Panthers came away with the 4-2 victory.

Sloan Anderson took the loss for Wichita State. Shockingly it was her third loss of the weekend, as WSU had to work their way through a patchwork pitching order.

Fisher earned the win, her 11th of the season, after pitching a strong seven innings, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits, while tacking on seven strikeouts.

UNI's record this season now stands at 24-9 overall, and 9-0 in the conference; their best start to conference play in school history.

The Panthers will put their winning streak on the line again Tuesday, as they take on the Western Illinois Westerwinds in Macomb, Ill. UNI is 1-and-1 against WIU this season.

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