Panthers chased down by the Salukis, swept 0-3

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Panthers chased down by the Salukis, swept 0-3

TONI FORTMANN

TONI FORTMANN

TONI FORTMANN

JACOB POTTER, Associate Sports Editor

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The power of the Southern Illinois softball team proved to be too much for UNI as they went 0-3 against the Salukis over the weekend, placing the Panthers at 22-22 for the season.

Senior outfielder Courtney Krodinger previewed the tough pitching the Panthers knew they would face  going into the weekend in an interview with Clough and Q Sports Talk on KULT radio.

“Brianna Jones (21-7) is the pitcher. She’s been up for top 25 in the country for pitching, so she’s definitely on her A-game.  She has a couple no-hitters and perfect games this year, I’m pretty sure, so she’s on it and it’s her senior year too,” said the senior center-fielder.

“She has a lot behind her with a great hitting team behind her that can help support her on the offensive side.  So, we just [have to] play our game and just compete.”

Jones was placed 26th on the victories list for NCAA D1 softball at 18-7 prior to the series against the Panthers. Jones is also second in the Missouri Valley Conference in wins, and fourth in ERA at 1.83.

To combat the Saluki’s strong pitching, Krodinger simply said, “Just going out to the box not scared, swinging hard and having fun.”

Jones only gave up one run in the opener with that offense behind her as Krodinger mentioned, scoring four of their six runs in the first two innings.

UNI’s only run came off of Courtney Krodinger’s seventh home run of the season (career-high) in the seventh inning to avoid the shutout, finishing the game off 6-1.

Freshman pitcher Erica Oler also notched a career-high with six strikeouts.

The nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader went 12 innings with Jaclyn Spencer pitching the entire game at just under 200 pitches.

Down 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, UNI tied the game on a two-run single by left-fielder Kohl.

Kohl came up big for the Panthers again laying out for a crucial diving catch with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth to give the Panthers a chance at a walk-off.

UNI wasn’t able to rally the troops to tie or walk-off after a two-run homer by center-fielder Jenny Jansen, putting the Salukis up 4-2.

The Panthers weren’t able to get revenge in Sunday’s matinee game that went extras again, falling by a score of 7-5.

The Salukis scored two runs on an error in the top of the eighth, while UNI wasn’t able to tie or walk-off to avenge the series.

Up next, the Hawkeyes will travel to Cedar Falls to take on the Panthers in the last home game of the season for UNI on Tuesday, April 30.

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