Home Runs Power Panthers Past Redbirds, 9-3, in Series Finale
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April 28, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Northern Iowa (22-24, 12-8 MVC) offense collected 12 hits and used three home runs to pick up a 9-3 victory in the series finale over Illinois State (28-19, 13-7) in the series finale on Senior Day at Marian Kneer Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Redbirds won the first two games of the series to come away with the series victory.
ISU starter Taylor Baxter (LP, 15-8) was charged with four runs on four hits in two innings of work as she suffered the loss. Relievers Regan Romshek, Sophia Perez and Erin Rodriguez handled the final five innings of work and combined to allow five more runs to the Panthers. UNI starter Abbie VanVleet (WP, 3-6) pitched a complete game for the victory and allowed three runs on six hits to the Redbirds.
UNI jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, on a two-run home run over the centerfield wall off the bat of Kristin Lock. The Panthers loaded the bases in the top of the third inning and knocked Baxter out of the game, as Romshek came on in relief. She buckled down and limited the Panthers to just two more runs as they took a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers added another run in the top of the top of the fourth inning on a RBI single by Micalla Rettinger, her second of the game. ISU came right back, when Laura Canopy recorded the first hit of the day for the Redbirds by launching a pitch over the right field wall that bounced off the scoreboard for a home run, her tenth of the season, to cut the lead to 5-1 after four innings of play.
A home run by Samantha Olson and a RBI double off the bat of Julia Hunter extended the UNI lead to 7-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Brittny Drish hit her second home run of the season, a line shot that just hooked inside the left field foul pole, to cut the deficit to 7-2.
The UNI lead grew to 9-2 in the top of the sixth inning, after a two-run home run by Gina Brown, the third home run of the contest for the Panthers. After a scoreless sixth inning, the Redbirds threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded with one out and pushed a run across the plate on a RBI fielder's choice from Lauren Kellar. However, Canopy lined out to end the game and give the Panthers a win in the series finale.
The Redbirds return to action Thursday for the regular-season home finale against Bradley, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.
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