The University of Northern Iowa women’s softball team entered their final match in a three game conference series with the Sycamores of Indiana State. The Panthers coming off a pair of wins from the Sycamores entered the matchup a 19-9 record on the season and 5-0 in the Missouri Valley conference.
The Panthers sent sophomore pitcher Jamie Fisher to the circle to take the rubber in hopes of picking up her eleventh win on the season. Fisher pitched four full innings facing sixteen batters, allowed just three hits, and struck out three in the process. Only allowing two runs across the plate in the second inning, Fisher nearly kept the Sycamores off the boards with the help of her defense.
At the plate the Panthers came out swinging getting three runs across in the first inning. Laura Turner got the bats going early reaching base on an error. Senior outfielder Hannah Borschel sent a single to left field followed by a three run home run from Gina Brown to give the Panthers a 3-0 advantage.
Senior Jaye Hutcheson took over in the fifth inning for the Panthers in the circle as the Sycamores came alive. After getting two runs across the plate Hutcheson and the Panther defense ended the Sycamore rally. At the plate the Panthers were unable to put together any further runs finding themselves in a tied ball game as they entered extra innings.
With two outs in the top of the eighth Laura Turner got the Panthers going as she reached second on a throwing error. Senior Hannah Borschel singled while advancing to second on the throw to the plate which allowed Turner to score giving the Panthers a lead. Senior Courtney Dunker finished up the Panthers inning with an RBI double to center field giving the Panthers a two run advantage as they entered the bottom of the 8th.
With a two run cushion Hutcheson went back to the mound getting two outs quickly before the Sycamores had their final out used when they grounded out to senior first basemen Gina Brown. With the win Hutcheson improves to 7-6 on the season while the Panthers improve to a 20-9 record on the season and a 6-0 Missouri Valley Conference record. The Panthers will see action again Tuesday night in Ames, Iowa when they take on the Cyclones of Iowa State.