UNI sweeps the Racers to open conference play



Samantha Heyer (2) was very impressive over the weekend, not allowing a single run in two games pitched.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

This weekend UNI softball had a series on the road against Murray State. This was a three game series which featured a double header on Friday, March 17, and a single game on Saturday, March 18. This series opened up the conference schedule for the Panthers, and they were able to start the conference schedule off right, as they swept the Racers. 

In the first game, neither team was able to get anything going in the first two innings. Both sides would manage at least one base runner, but were not able to bring them across the plate. Things changed in the top of the third inning when Madison Parks hit a double to drive in the first run of the game. In the fourth inning, the Panthers added another run on a home run by Brooke Snider. In the bottom, the Racers got a run, and it was 2-1 after the fourth. The rest of the way, the Panthers would add some security. They added another run in the fifth and the sixth. Addison McElrath hit a home run in the sixth. The Panthers added all these runs and didn’t give up any more. The Panthers won the first game of the day, 4-1. Kailyn Packard picked up the victory in the circle.

In the second game, the Racers threatened with two base runners in the bottom of the first, but Samantha Heyer got out of the situation without giving up a run. In the top of the second, the Panther bats got things going. They put together three hits and managed two runs in the inning. The Panthers added another run in the top of the third. Neither side could get anything going offensively the rest of the game. The score at the end of the third was the same as it was at the end of the game. The Panthers grabbed the victory, 3-0. Heyer pitched a tremendous game, not giving up a single base runner following the first inning. She had 13 strikeouts. 

In the final game of the series, the Panthers started strong by getting one run in the first. They added another run in the second, and two more in the third. Heyer was pitching again and was not giving anything up. In the fifth, the Panthers got two more runs, and with a 6-0 lead, it looked like they were going to complete the sweep. The Panthers completed their dominant series performance when they scored 11 runs in a crazy seventh inning. They took the final game of the series 17-0, completing the sweep.

The Panthers are winners of four in a row now, and will play next in a three game series at UIC in Chicago, Ill. The series starts on Friday, March 24, and will conclude on Sunday, March 26.