Upper Iowa topped Wayne State 3-1 and 12-1 in five innings Tuesday afternoon in a Northern Sun Conference softball doubleheader played at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex in Wayne. UIU is now 16-13 and 8-6 in the NSIC while WSC drops to 9-22 and 0-14 in league contests.
The Peacocks made the first move on the scoreboard in the top of the second, utilizing a Wildcat error on a single to set up a runner in scoring position. A wild pitch sent the runner home, giving Upper Iowa an early 1-0 advantage.
Wayne State tried to immediately respond after Ashley Hernandez (walk) and Taylor Menard (single) grabbed a base each to have a runner on first and second with one out. Upper Iowa rallied by forcing a pop out and a strikeout to remain unblemished on the scoreboard.
The Peacocks added two more in the top of the third with a two-out single from Julia Buffington, bringing runners from second and third around to increase the UIU lead to 3-0.
Wayne State grabbed a way back into the game through a Kamryn Sparks RBI single up the middle, bringing around Ashley Hernandez (double down the left field line). The Wildcats were unable to take any more advantage, leaving two runners on base to end the inning.
Despite shutting down the Peacock offense, the Wildcats were only able to grab a hit in each of the final three innings, dropping the first game of the doubleheader 3-1.
Makenna Adkison pitched a complete game in the loss, only giving up four hits and no earned runs.
Kim Vidlak led the Wildcats offensively with two of the team’s seven hits. Hernandez scored the only run with Sparks providing the RBI.
Upper Iowa used a three-run outburst in the first inning to grab momentum from the previous game. Back-to-back doubles scored three Peacock runners and opened the scoring.
The Peacocks grabbed a run in both the second and third innings to add to their tally, sending runners home through a sacrifice fly in the second and a Wildcat error in the third. Upper Iowa’s bats kept working in the fourth, after the first two batters took a spot on first and second. The runners only needed to trot home, as Jordyn Brennan hit the first home run of the afternoon, extending the lead to 8-0 in favor of the Peacocks.
The Wildcats grabbed one back in the bottom of the inning behind the bat of Abbie Hix. The senior smashed her fourth home run on the year to cut into the deficit. Hits from Menard and Hernandez added fuel to the potential Wildcat rally, but Upper Iowa quashed the fires by forcing a fielder’s choice for the third out of the inning.
UIU responded to the Wildcat flurry with a response of their own, grabbing five hits and four runs in the top of the fifth to push their lead to 12-1.
With two singles in a row from the top of the lineup, the Wildcats looked poised to make an attempt at cutting into the lead and forcing extra innings. Peacock pitcher Jaclyn Thompson fought back and grabbed three straight outs to put the game away.
Menard led the Wildcats in game two, going 2-2 while grabbing a stolen base. Hix recorded the Wildcat run on her home run. Maddie Moser pitched three innings in the losing effort, with Adkison pitching two innings in relief.
Weather permitting, Wayne State is scheduled to host Minot State Saturday at 12 p.m. and the University of Mary Sunday at 12 p.m. in NSIC doubleheaders at the Pete Chapman Softball Complex.