Lakers drop doubleheader at Northwood after needing extra innings in opener

Photo Courtesy Angie Williams
Photo Courtesy Angie Williams

MIDLAND, Mich. - Lake Superior State suffered a sweep at the hands of Northwood University during Tuesday evening's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader held in Midland. The Lakers (4-18, 0-6 GLIAC) took the Timberwolves (12-10, 2-2 GLIAC) to extra innings, ultimately falling 8-7, before succumbing 9-1 in five innings in the second game.

Game 1

The bats for the Lakers produced a pair of runs in both the first and second winnings and the visitors held a 5-1 lead after the top of the fourth inning. However, a four-run frame in the bottom half of the fourth brought the score even at 5-5.

The Lakers opened the first inning with a pair of singles by Taylor Steinhelper and Lindsey Pajot in order. Following a passed ball to move the runners to third and second, junior Carly Banchiu singled up the middle to deliver two runs. Kylie Durre followed Banchiu with a walk and Katey Hendershott singled to left field to load the bases, however the Lakers were unable add to the damage after loading the bases with no outs.

Banchiu added her third RBI of the game with a one-out sacrifice fly and Hendershott walked in a run with the bases loaded in the top of the second inning to extend the lead. Banchiu went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and scored a run while Hendershott was 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the first game of the afternoon. The freshman's second RBI of the game came on a double to center field in the fourth that scored Banchiu.

Following an uneventful fifth inning, the Lakers loaded the bases again in the top of the sixth. Senior Alyssa Boucher delivered a sacrifice fly to left field with one out and the bases loaded to score Pajot. The Timberwolves responded however, in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run homerun by Lauren Look to score Riley Ostapowicz and take a 7-6 lead.

Up against it in the top of the seventh to deliver the tying run or take the lead, the Lakers remained poised and received a clutch double to deep right center field from Pajot to score Katie Martin and tie the game 7-7. Pajot went 3-for-4 with two doubles in Game 1, scoring two runs while also driving in the important seventh run for the Lakers.

After the Lakers were unable to score in the top half of the eighth inning, the Timberwolves were able to score Ashley Lynn from third with a one-out single by Andria Gietl. Boucher (L, 1-5) was tagged with the loss after pitching 2.1 innings of relief of starter Alyssa Thayer. Thayer allowed seven earned runs in five innings of work and struck out two batters.

Reliever Vanessa Ewing (W, 2-5) earned the win for Northwood with 1.1 innings of scoreless pitching. The Timberwolves relieved starter Casey Brown, who allowed four runs through two innings, Marissa Tiano. Tiano pitched 4.2 innings, struck out two batters, walked two, and allowed three runs on six hits.

Game 2

The Lakers started sophomore Riley Durbano (L, 2-8) on the mound for the second game. After allowing one run in the opening inning, the Timberwolves tagged Durbano for five runs on four hits, a walk and hit batter in the second inning to shorten her outing to just two innings pitched.

Northwood countered with Ewing in the second game and received five innings of effective pitching. Ewing delivered five strikeouts, while walking five batters and allowing five hits. Her lone blemish came on a solo homerun by Pajot in the bottom of the third.

Pajot finished a perfect 2-for-2 and registered a walk in the finale. On the day, Pajot finished 5-for-6 with three extra-base hits, two RBIs and scored three runs.

Teryn Williams and Emily Estep each added singles in the second game and Katie Martin delivered a double to round out the Lakers to collect hits. Martin went 1-for-1 and also walked twice.

The Lakers were out-hit 13-5 in the second game and left 10 runners on base while the Timberwolves stranded just five runners.