Panthers stay hot, take both games in doubleheader against Drake



UNI softball kept rolling with a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday. They have now won 10 consecutive games and currently stand in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 14-1 record in league play.


The UNI softball team has been on a roll these past few weeks as they’ve won each of their previous eight games, outscoring their opponents 52-11. With those red hot bats and steely gloves, the Panthers welcomed in-state rival Drake for a doubleheader on Tuesday. And in their first meeting of the season, the Purple & Gold stole both games from the Bulldogs, extending their winning streak to double-digits. 

The first game took place in the early afternoon. Initially scheduled to start at 4 p.m., the games were moved up two hours earlier due to a threat of rain. Despite their stingy defense over the past few weeks, UNI fell behind early on as Drake was able to put up two runs in the top of the first inning. Those runs came from a combination of an error and a wild throw by starting pitcher Kailyn Packard. 

The team wouldn’t waste much time getting out of their slump. Two Panthers were able to get on base in quick succession through a single and a walk. Another player got walked, loading the bases for junior third baseman Brooke Snider, who had two hits out of three at-bats in the previous game against Valparaiso. That extra bit of confidence gave Snider the edge over Drake pitcher Paige Bedsworth. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Snider sent the ball deep over the wall in left-center, notching her first career grand slam and giving the Panthers a 4-2 lead. Mya Dodge would score another run on a fielder’s error to close out the inning with a 5-2 UNI lead. 

That great offensive showing became infectious on the defensive end, as the team pulled a double play in the next inning. They also kept the bats swinging in the third inning, scoring another four runs. Snider got her second hit of the day, batting in another run on a double to right field. 

UNI would put away the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dodge hit a triple to score pinch runner Hannah Isley, giving the Panthers the 10-2 advantage needed to seal the deal. Packard’s complete game resulted in allowing only four hits and striking out seven. 

The Bulldogs found their groove in the second game of the afternoon. They again struck first, this time in the top of the second inning with a solo home run against the Panthers’ Samantha Heyer. Unphased by the mistake, Heyer would strike out the next two batters. That set up UNI to take the lead back with Daryn Lamprecht hitting a home run with a runner on base. 

Just as it happened in the second inning, Drake was able to get another run on the board before Heyer shut them down again. 

After hitting the walk-off hit in the previous game, Dodge would get a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth, keeping the Panthers’ lead to three runs. Heyer wouldn’t give up a run the next inning despite multiple Bulldogs getting in scoring position. 

Lamprecht would get her second home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Even with their five-run advantage, the Panthers couldn’t sit comfortably as Heyer gave up a few walks to load the bases. Packard would come in to stop the bleeding. Drake would score three runs before being stopped by two quick strikeouts. UNI would get their second win of the day 7-4.

The Purple & Gold will get to stay home for the next week as they host Illinois State University. The Redbirds have had a sporadic season with multiple winning and losing streaks, which includes their win over UNI at home on March 11. 

The two teams will get to play each other three times this weekend, with a doubleheader on Saturday and the final game on Sunday.