Cats win first fall game against Kirkwood 11-7


Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics


The Panther softball team played their first fall game this past Friday as they took on Kirkwood Community College. The Panthers are coming off a 28-23 season, and are looking to use this fall to improve on their performance last season.

Freshman pitcher Samantha Heyer kicked off her UNI career with an opening day start, allowing two runs in the first two innings. 

The Purple and Gold rallied behind their freshman pitcher, firing back in the bottom of the second inning. The Panthers loaded the bases, scoring on a short grounder and a walk to draw in the first two runs of the game.

Keeping the bases loaded with no outs, UNI drove in five more runs as they continued to dominate the Eagles.

The Purple and Gold used a sacrifice fly by Jenny Kohl and a single by Erica Oler to force two more runs across the plate. 

As the Panthers held a 9-2 lead in the eighth inning, the Eagles were able to break their five inning scoring drought, driving four runs in. 

The Panthers answered right back with a sacrifice fly by Angela Gorkow to bring in one more run in the bottom of the eighth, extending the lead to 10-6.

In the tenth inning, the Eagles put their seventh run on the board, but junior catcher Emma Valainis responded with a home run to cap off an 11-7 victory for UNI.

Up next, the Panthers will play at home the next two weeks before they travel to Des Moines on Sep. 28 for a three-game weekend slate against Iowa, Iowa State and Drake.