The University of Northern Iowa softball team opened up conference play this afternoon with a pair of games against the Purple Aces of Evansville. Coming off of an eight-game road trip to Clearwater, Fla., UNI entered the matchup with a 14-9 overall record.
The Panthers sent sophomore Jamie Fisher to the circle for game one of Saturday’s pair. Fisher tossed a full seven innings keeping the Purple Aces off the board nearly the entire game. While allowing just a single run across the plate in the third inning, Fisher faced thirty batters, allowed just five hits, one run, and struck out eight in the process.
At the plate UNI was led by senior Mackenzie Daigh who put the Panthers on the board in the second inning connecting with a grand slam, which gave the Panthers a four-run lead. Third basemen Whitney Plein also had a good afternoon at the plate in game one going three for three with a trio of singles and a two RBI. The Panthers won game one, 8-1.
In game two on the day, senior pitcher Jaye Hutcheson stepped up to the rubber taking her turn in the circle. Hutcheson entered the day with a 4-6 record on the season and a 2.88 ERA. She threw a complete game facing 20 batters allowing just two hits, no runs, and struck out four batters as she picked up her fifth win on the season.
At the plate the Panthers were led by seniors Whitney Plein and Gina Brown along with junior Melissa Walls. The trio each had a pair of RBI a piece. Gina Brown also connected for her third home run on the season helping the Panthers pick up their 16th win on the season. UNI improves to 16-9 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
The Panthers will complete their three game series with Evansville tomorrow afternoon at Robinson Dresser Field.