UNI splits double-header against Drake

BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

The UNI softball team split their doubleheader against the Drake Bulldogs Tuesday night. The Panthers won the first game, 3-1, and lost the second game, 2-6.

Caitlin Wnek started the night strong with a solo home run over left field to bring an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Pitcher Chelsea Ross came in clutch, ending the first two innings with strikeouts to stop scoring opportunities. Ross finished the game with 11 strikeouts, tying her career high in a game.

Not only did Ross excel on the mound, she also contributed offensively. She let one fly over the left field fence that also brought Macey Wolfe home to score for the 3-0 lead. Drake’s Megan Sowa finally put a point on the board with a homerun at the bottom of the seventh, but the next batter grounded out to end the game.

The second game was revenge for Drake. All six of their points were earned in the first inning. Three hits from the Bulldogs and three errors from the Panthers contributed to the 0-6 deficit. Samantha Belz came in to pitch in the second inning and did not allow a run in her five innings.

Drake pitcher Nicole Newman was about to finish the game with a no-hitter, but Kennedy Bailey broke the streak with a home run that brought Michaela Martin in to cut the deficit to four. Two strikeouts brought the doubleheader to a close.

The Panthers will remain on the road to play at Evansville on Saturday at 2 p.m.