Panthers take two of three from Braves

UNI+softball+continued+their+winning+ways+against+Bradley+this+past+weekend%2C+winning+two+of+three+games+against+their+MVC+opponents.+

TONI FORTMANN

UNI softball continued their winning ways against Bradley this past weekend, winning two of three games against their MVC opponents.

DAVID WARRINGTON

This past weekend, the UNI Panthers softball team hosted the Bradley University Braves for a three-game series at the Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex in Cedar Falls. UNI took on Bradley in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 24 as well as one game on Sunday, April 25. The Panthers entered the series with a record of 22-15 on the season, while Bradley entered 15-15. UNI won the series, taking two out of the three games.

In game one of the series, the Braves got off to a fast start, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. After a few scoreless innings, Bradley blew the game open in the fourth when third baseman Camryn Monteer hit a double to right field, driving in three runs to empty the bases and give the Braves a 5-0 lead. A solo home run from Taise Thompson in the fifth inning extended the lead to 6-0.

The Panthers got on the board in the bottom of the fifth via a solo home run from Brooke Snider, and they drove in another run in the sixth courtesy of a sacrifice fly from Sammy Moss to bring UNI within 6-2. In the bottom of the seventh, down to their final three outs, the Panthers scored another run via a Braves error and got the tying run to the plate, but ultimately fell short, losing the first game 6-3.

In game two, the Panthers got the offense started with a bang in the first inning when Daryn Lamprecht sent a two-run home run over the right field fence to give UNI a 2-0 lead. Bradley responded in the top of the second, scoring a run on an RBI double from Samantha Smith to get within 2-1. UNI got back on the board in the third via a sacrifice fly from Emmy Wells, and Wells drove in another run in the fifth via an RBI double to give UNI a 4-1 lead. The Panther defense and pitching was dominant throughout the rest of the game, not allowing another run, and the 4-1 score would hold until the end.

Kailyn Packard put together a dominant pitching performance, allowing just six hits and one run in seven innings on the mound. Packard gave up only one walk while striking out seven Bradley batters. Packard was credited with her 15th pitching victory of the season to go with only five losses.

In the third and final game of the series, the Panther bats came out on fire, hitting three home runs in the first inning. Adara Opiola, Lamprecht, and Kamryn Shaffer all homered to give UNI a 4-0 lead. Bunch hit another home run in the second, this one a two-run shot, giving UNI a 6-0 advantage going into the third inning. The Bradley offense finally came alive in the third, hitting two home runs, one solo shot as well as a three-run bomb, to get the Braves within 6-4. A Panthers run via a passed ball made the score 7-4 entering the fourth. Bradley put up two more runs in the fourth, but the Panthers took control in the fifth, scoring seven runs to take a 14-6 lead and get the victory via run rule.

With the victories and series win, UNI improves to 24-16 on the season. The Panthers will be back in action this coming Tuesday, April 27 when they host the Drake Bulldogs. They will then travel to Normal, Ill. for a three-game series against the Illinois State Redbirds. There will be two games played on Saturday, May 1, with the first game starting at 12 pm and the second at 2:30 pm. The third and final game of the series will be played on Sunday, May 2 at 11 am.