Panthers take 2 of 3 from Sycamores



Mya Dodge, the reigning MVC Player of the Week, continued her strong sophomore season over the weekend.

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

The Panthers had two different games in their first two of three against Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind. The first game saw the Panthers beat the Sycamores 8-3 in a dominant showing. The second game saw UNI take their first loss of the season as they were defeated 6-4. 

The Panthers started off hot with a great first day on the bats, securing 12 hits. This first game moved the Panthers to 10 conference victories on the season. The team also had a great day in the circle, as the pitchers struck out more players than walks allowed. 

The Panthers started the game with two singles to get the bats going early. After two outs, it looked like the team would have a scoreless first inning, but designated hitter Addison McElrath had a crucial single which would see two runs scored for UNI. The Panthers only recorded two hits in the next three innings with no score to show for them. Indiana State would capitalize on this quiet stretch for the Panthers with a run in the bottom of the fourth. 

With the Panthers up to bat in the top of the fifth, the current MVC Player of the Week, Mya Dodge, stepped up to the plate to help rally the Panthers. Shortstop Kylee Sanders was on first base and watched the ball fly over the fence as Dodge hit her seventh home run of the season. This gave the team a 4-1 lead over the Sycamores and kept them in firm control of the game for the remainder of the day. Brooke Snider singled to left field towards the end of the inning to help send Maggie Erpelding to home for their third and final run of the inning. 

The top of the sixth inning was another big offensive period for UNI. Dodge once again batted some runners in as she sent Sanders and Makenna Kuper to home after a single into left field. The scoring was not finished for the team as McElrath singled to left to usher Madison Parks to home giving the Panthers the 8-1 score over Indiana State. The Sycamores would battle back with a few runs in the bottom of the seventh but it was not enough as the Panthers finished the game 8-3. Samantha Heyer had a phenomenal day as the main pitcher for the Panthers as she struck out seven players, allowing only two hits, one run and one walk on the day.

The second game was not as successful for the Panthers despite their best efforts. The Panthers would get the first points of the day after a single from Faith Standerski helped to get Dodge and Taylor two points on the board early. 

The Sycamores would reply with a barrage of runs in the second and third innings after some poor pitching from the Panthers defense. This wave of runs helped Indiana State move up to a 5-2 score over UNI. 

McElrath would help lead a rally in the top of the fourth as her double would help Dodge get home to make the score 5-3. Hogan would also help bridge the gap for the Panthers in this inning as she aided Kuper in her journey home off of a single. Despite their best efforts, the Panthers could not close it out as the Sycamores scored one more run, making the game a 6-4 victory for Indiana State. Kailyn Packard had a tough day at the mound, allowing six runs with only three strikeouts.

The Panthers concluded their series against the Sycamores on Sunday afternoon, securing an 8-3 victory over Indiana State. With the win, the Panthers improve to 22-11 on the season, 11-1 in MVC play. UNI will be back on the field on Tuesday, hosting the Drake Bulldogs in an in-state conference matchup.