Panthers defeat Bears in walk-off fashion

UNI cathcer Emmy Wells hit a walk-off solo homerun in the Panthers’ only gane against Missouri State. The other two scheduled games were canceled due to inclement weather.

DAVID WARRINGTON

Coming into the weekend, the UNI softball team planned on playing a doubleheader against the Missouri State Bears, two games on Saturday and one game on Sunday. However, a mixture of snow and rain led to two of the games getting canceled, allowing UNI to only play one game, a 1-0 extra-inning victory on Sunday afternoon.

Missouri State got the offense going right away when Daphne Plummer got a base hit to lead off the game. However, the offense would grind to a halt after that, with base runners being a rarity for the entire game. By the seventh inning, had it not been for a third-inning walk, Bears pitcher Steffany Dickerson would’ve been vying for a perfect game.

Missouri State got their biggest offensive chance of the game in the sixth inning. Plummer led off with a base hit, and after a stolen base and a walk, there were runners on third and first with two outs. However, Kailyn Packard got Alex Boze to pop out to first base, ending the inning and preserving the scoreless tie.

Entering the seventh inning, UNI had a chance to walk it off, and things looked promising when Mya Dodge led off with a single, ending Dickerson’s chance for a no-hitter. However, Dodge was caught stealing on the next pitch, and the next two batters were retired, sending the game to extra innings.

Despite two hits, the Bears couldn’t get anything across in the top of the eighth, giving UNI a chance to capitalize. With two outs, Emmy Wells stepped up to the plate and sent a towering home run over the left-field fence, walking it off to give UNI a 1-0 victory.

Packard had a fantastic day in the circle, giving up just five hits and zero runs in eight innings of work, walking two batters and striking out 12.

With the win, the Panthers move to 14-11 on the year, 6-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference. They will hit the road for an in-state matchup against Iowa State on Tuesday before returning home to the Robinson-Dresser Sports Complextake on Loyola Chicago in a three-game series this weekend.