Cleveland State softball splits series with Purdue Fort Wayne
Cleveland State softball notched a weekend split in a four-game series with Purdue Fort Wayne on the road last weekend.
The Vikings move to a 7-9 overall record and 2-2 in the Horizon League while the Mastodons go to 3-5 and 2-2 in league play.
Game 1 - Friday March 12
Cleveland State used a two-run home run from Alexa Sieger to eek out a 4-3 victory in the first game of a double header.
There were fireworks in the first as the Vikings struck quickly with a Sydney Bajusz double, followed by an Ali Packish walk. Bajusz later came through on a wild pitch, followed by an RBI from Taylor Duncan to give Cleveland State the 2-0 lead.
The Mastodons Kyndell Ethridge evened things up with a two-run blast in the bottom of the inning. CSU’s Alexa Sieger responded in the sixth inning with a two-run homer of her own, scoring Duncan and giving the Green and White a 4-2 edge.
The Mastodons tried to rally with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but to no avail as CSU closed out the game.
Vikings pitcher Hannah Griffin went five innings while striking out three and allowing two runs.
Game 2 - Friday March 12
Cleveland State was battered by Purdue Fort Wayne, 11-1, in the second half of the day's doubleheader.
Though the end result was ugly, the Vikings once again struck in the opening minutes, as Bajusz again reached first quickly, and eventually found her way to third. She scored on a wild pitch from Purdue Fort Wayne’s Jadelyn Johnson.
The Mastodons hammered the Vikings from then out, tallying two runs in the bottom of the first and a season-high nine runs in the fourth inning, including an RBI double from Olivia Stansbury and a two-run blast from Ethridge.
Game 3 - Saturday March 13
Cleveland State fell to Purdue Fort Wayne 8-5, in the third contest of the weekend.
The Mastodons connected on Madeline Swart grand slam over the right field fence in the second inning, taking a 4-0 lead.
Cleveland State battled back with two outs in the third inning as Packish reached home on a third base error, but the Mastodons pummeled Cleveland State with back-to-back home runs from Morganne Denny and Alise Hale to push the lead to 8-1.
The Vikings got an RBI from Shackleford and a two-run single from Duncan, but the Mastodons held on for the 8-5 victory.
Duncan led the Vikings with three RBIs while Taylor Betz held the Mastodons at bay in the final two innings, recording just one hit and two strikeouts.
Game 4 - Saturday March 13
Cleveland State erupted to take down Purdue Fort Wayne, 10-7, in the final game of the series.
While the offense showed out, it was the work of Griffin in the circle that paved the way as she notched a complete game, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and a strikeout to earn her fourth win of the season.
After the Mastodons quickly snuck on the board, Cleveland State’s Kierra Frascone reached on an error, followed by a pair of doubles and towering three-run blast from Bajusz. The process repeated itself in the third inning as a pair of singles gave way to another crushed shot from Torrie Jenkins.
Bajusz added an RBI double in the fourth as the Vikings poured it on.
The Mastodons tried to rally with a solo shot from Meagan Mullaney and an RBI single from Denny. The Vikings responded with their 10th run of the game, an RBI single from Courtney Fernette.
Purdue Fort Wayne again went deep with a pair of solo home runs from Mullaney and Ethridge, but could only cut the lead to 10-7 as the Vikings held on for victory.
Cleveland State will return home to face IUPUI (3-11, 1-3 HL) in a four-game Horizon League contest on March 19-20.