The University of Northern Iowa softball team wrapped up its regular season three-game series vs. the Bradley Braves by scoring a 4-1 victory at Robinson Dresser Field. UNI took two of three games from the Braves this season.
UNI (34-12, 18-2 MVC) sent sophomore pitcher Jamie Fisher to the circle to improve on her 17-2 record. Fisher was outstanding tossing a complete game by allowing two hits and one earned run while recording seven strikeouts.
At the plate the Panthers got out to a quick start collecting two runs early in the first. Senior shortstop Mackenzie Daigh lead off in the first with a double followed by a Laura Turner walk. With a Gina Brown RBI single and a Samantha Reimer sacrifice fly the Panthers scored two first-inning runs. The Panthers matched their two-run first inning again in the third after a Gina Brown two-run home run that scored Turner for the second time. The four runs collected were enough to hold off the Braves as the Panthers went on to win, 4-1.
The Panthers will take the field tomorrow afternoon heading to Iowa City, Iowa, for a double-header with the intra-state rival Iowa Hawkeyes at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Following the matchup against the Hawks, the Panthers will continue the busy week traveling south to Carbondale, Ill., Friday afternoon for a three game series with Southern Illinois with doubleheader games scheduled for noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday followed by game three of the series on Sunday at noon.
UNI holds a four-game lead in the Missouri Valley Conference standings following Wednesday night's action. UNI is in first place at 18-2, while Southern Illinois and Creighton are tied for second at 14-6. Illinois State is 4.5 games behind the Panthers in fourth place with a league mark of 14-7. UNI swept its two games vs. Creighton in the regular season and would hold the tiebreaker vs. the Jays. UNI will play at SIU this weekend and the Panthers will close the regular season by hosting Illinois State on May 5-6 in a three-game set.
UNI is looking to clinch its second MVC regular season title. The Panthers' only previous MVC regular season title came in 2000 when the Panthers shared the regular season crown with Evansville and Creighton. All three teams tied at 11-7 in the 2000 MVC regular season standings.