Contact: Jeff Sattora
CHICAGO- Erica McNew and Cynthia Woodard each hit a home run Saturday, helping the Cleveland State Vikings (21-24, 10-8 HL) split a Horizon League softball doubleheader in Chicago at the UIC Flames. McNew and Woodard led the charge for CSU with their homers in a game one 7-4 win, but the Vikings were unable to keep that momentum going in game two, falling 7-0.
The early game saw the host Flames get on the board first, as Kara Komp singled to lead off the inning vs. CSU starter Susan Knight. After advancing to second on a groundout and advancing to third on a wild pitch, Komp eventually scored on an RBI single up the middle by Melissa Preish to give UIC the lead.
The lead would not hold for long, as Woodard tied things up for CSU quickly. She led the second inning off with a solo homer to tie things at 1-1, her eighth homer of the year. Cleveland State would stretch the lead in the second on two more hits and a UIC error. Alyson Broschk starting things off again for the Vikings with a one out single to center. Nena Doran then followed reaching on an error by the UIC second baseman that allowed not only Doran to reach first but also Broschk to advance to third. After a Susan Knight pop out for the second out, Janessa Rivera-Keahi knocked a single to bring both runners home and give CSU at 3-1 lead.
Cleveland State would extend its lead in the third inning, tacking on a fourth run of the afternoon. McNew put the first runner on base with a single to right field. A walk later allowed her to advance to second, and she was brought home when Broschk drilled a double to center field to make it 4-1 Vikings.
McNew would then conclude the CSU scoring in the fourth inning, the third consecutive inning the Vikings were able to bring across at least one run. With two outs in the books, a Dara Toman walk and Katelind Phillips single put two runners on for the catcher McNew. She would not waste the opportunity as she blasted her 18th homer of the season to give CSU a 7-1 lead. McNew is now just one home run from tying teammate Dara Toman's Cleveland State individual season home run record of 19 that was set just last season.
Despite UIC responding with one run in each of the final three innings, it was not enough to complete the comeback, giving CSU freshman Susan Knight her 15th win of the season. Knight pitched all seven innings in the circle, allowing nine hits and four runs (three earned) for the win.
While a strong CSU offense led the way in game one, that same group was not able to get anything going in game two, a 7-0 loss.
Only two Vikings were able to pick up hits, as McNew singled in the first inning and Broschk doubled in the second to complete the Cleveland State offense.
UIC on the other hand was able to use four hits, including a three run homer by Erica Hampton in the second inning to earn the win.