The University of Northern Iowa women’s softball team ran its win streak to 14 in a row with a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Drake Bulldogs on Friday. UNI moved to 27-9 overall and 11-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
UNI sent sophomore pitcher Jamie Fisher to the circle in hopes of picking up her 12th win on the season. Fisher got off to a fast start striking out seven in the first three innings while allowing only one hit.
At the plate the Panthers found hits hard to come by early on. The Panthers found a spark in senior Mackenzie Daigh in the third inning as she connected for a home run to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. UNI found a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings bringing the Panthers to a 5-0 lead after five. The Panthers were led by senior Whitney Plein and Samantha Reimer with two RBI each, while Daigh went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.
Fisher continued to impress on the mound by slowing down the Drake offense. Fisher tossed a complete game, allowing five hits, one run, and struck out 12 in picking up her 12th win on the season.
In game two of Friday’s doubleheader the Panthers sent Senior Jaye Hutcheson to the rubber for what turned into a pitcher’s dual. Hutcheson kept the Bulldogs scoreless through the first two innings while striking out four before allowing a run in the third. Hutcheson pitched a complete game two-hitter with seven strikeouts. She did not allow an earned run.
At the plate the Panthers bats were quiet until the fourth inning when Daigh came out swinging for a double to the fence. With a Laura Turner walk and Hannah Borschel single the Panthers had bases loaded. Gina Brown advanced on a fielder’s choice before Courtney Dunker sent a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game.
Senior Hannah Borschel's double in the 6th gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead before Drake was able to knot the score at 2-2 in the top of the seventh.
The Panthers entered the bottom of the seventh looking for a walk-off win to extend their win streak to 14 in a row. Julia Hunter got the inning started with a single up the middle followed with a Daigh sacrifice bunt that advanced Hunter, with a wild pitch and a Hannah Borschel walk and stolen base the Panthers had runners on second and third with two outs. Brown finished off the Bulldogs with her walk off single that sent Hunter across the plate for UNI's 14th consecutive win.
UNI will take the field again tomorrow afternoon in game three of the series matchup with the Bulldogs of Drake University at Robinson Dresser Field at Noon.
UNI Softball Longest Win Streaks
18 - 1977
17 - 1977
14 - 2012
13 - 1982 (AIAW National Champions)
12 - 1980
11 - 1989
9 - 1983
8 - 1995
NOTE: UNI began NCAA Division I softball in the 1983 season. Prior to that, UNI competed in the AIAW.