Panther softball goes 1-3 in Oklahoma


COLIN HORNING, Sports Writer

Over the weekend, the UNI softball team made a trip down south for a weekend series in the Oklahoma State and Tulsa Tournament.

The six-game slate featured matchups against strong opponents such as the University of Illinois, University of Tulsa and Oklahoma State University.

It has been a season of ups and downs so far for Northern Iowa, and this weekend saw more frustration unfold.

The Panthers split their first two games on Friday, falling in a heartbreaker in extra innings to Illinois by the score of 10-9.

Bouncing back in the second half of the double header, UNI easily handled the host school University of Tulsa with a 10-4 victory. Four different Panthers had two RBIs apiece in this one, pacing a balanced scoring attack.

The second day of the tournament was a rough one for the purple and gold, as they dropped both games. UNI got out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning in their matchup against McNeese State on a Courtney Krodinger RBI single. However, the Cowgirls scored six unanswered runs through the next three innings to lead 6-1.

UNI committed four errors, leading to three unearned runs in this game which wound up playing a huge role in the final outcome. A small rally in the bottom of the seventh inning brought UNI to within two runs, but it would not prevail as McNeese State held on for the 7-5 victory.

In the nightcap, the UNI women were trounced by host team Oklahoma State by a final score of 12-0. OSU got out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of two-run homers off UNI pitcher Emma Olejniczak. The Cowgirls added on three more runs in the second frame, with UNI unable to scratch across a single run. Five more Oklahoma State runs in the third frame grew their lead to 12-0 after three innings of play. The game was called after the fifth inning, as Northern Iowa fell to a 1-3 record in the weekend tournament.

Next weekend, the Panthers will travel to Murray, Ky. for a five-game set in the Murray State Tournament. They will next play at home over the weekend of March 30-31 in a three game series with the Evansville Purple Aces.