The University of Northern Iowa softball team split a pair of Missouri Valley Confernece games in Peoria, Ill., against the Bradley Braves.
UNI (31-11, 15-1 MVC) won game one to run its streak to 15 in a row in the league, but Bradley ended the Panthers' MVC streak by knocking off UNI in game two.
In game one the Panthers had trouble finding hits early on in their offense. With just a single hit in the first five innings - a triple from Hannah Borschel. The Panthers trailed the Braves 1-0 entering the sixth inning. Freshmen Julia Hunter sparked the offense sending a double deep to the center field wall reaching base with ease. After collecting five hits through the inning which included senior Courtney Dunker’s fourth home run on the season. UNI's first six batters in the sixth inning scored to open up a 6-1 lead over the Braves.
Sophomore Jamie Fisher earned her 16th win of the season as she pitched a complete game. Fisher allowed three hits, no earned runs and struck out 13 Braves. Fisher is now 16-1 on the year.
Game two of the doubleheader was no simple task as hits and runs were just as difficult to put together as they had been early on in game one. Senior Laura Turner was accountable for all three of the Panthers runs through game two going 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk. Turner scored in the first inning on a Courtney Dunker sac fly. Later on in the third and seventh innings Turner connected on a pair of solo home runs. Turner has connected on six home runs this season.
Senior Jaye Hutcheson took the circle for the Panthers in game two. Hutcheson (12-8) tossed a strong five innings before the Braves found gaps in the Panther defense. Hutcheson allowed just seven hits and six earned runs. Sophomore Jessica Severinsen relieved Hutcheson in the sixth inning where she allowed two hits and struck out one Bradley batter.
Finding their rally in the sixth inning much like UNI managed in game one, the Braves collected seven runs off of six hits which gave Bradley the 9-2 lead. Turner's homer in the seventh completed the scoring and gave the Braves the 9-3 victory.
The Panthers take the field again Saturday afternoon at Robinson Dresser Field in Cedar Falls with a doubleheader against the Bears of Missouri State at Noon and 2 p.m. UNI and Missouri State will complete the three-game series on Sunday with a single game set to start at Noon.
NOTE: Mackenzie Daigh had her season-long 12-game hitting streak snapped in game two ... Daigh failed to reach base ending her 23-game stretch of reaching base.