Contact: Jeff Sattora
Cleveland- With less than two weeks to go in the 2013 softball regular season, Cleveland State Vikings' senior Dara Toman is making sure she leaves a lasting impact. The senior broke two records Monday, the Horizon League career home run mark and Cleveland State career runs scored mark, in leading the Vikings to a doubleheader split vs. the Green Bay Phoenix in Horizon League play.
The Vikings took game one of the doubleheader by a 9-1 count, before falling in the late game 7-3 to the Phoenix. Cleveland State, who was the away team in both games despite playing in Cleveland due Monday being a make-up on the schedule, is now 17-21 on the year and 8-6 in league play, while Green Bay is 12-22 and 5-9 in league contests.
Toman, who broke the Cleveland State career RBI record last week, continues to climb the charts and make her mark as one of the best players in Cleveland State and Horizon League history. Coming into Monday with 52 career home runs and 127 runs scored Toman was tied for both the CSU and league records, and was able to break both with one swing of the bat.
With two runners on base and CSU already up 1-0 Toman went to work, blasting a three run homer to left field to push her career totals to 53 homers and 128 runs scored. Toman's 53 homers surpassed UIC's Amanda Rivera who hit 52 from 2001-04 in the Horizon league record book, and her 128 runs scored surpassed Christa Coppus in the CSU record book who had 127 from 2006-09.
While Toman's blast highlighted the offensive show in that third inning, the Vikings weren't close to being done. Following Toman's record-breaker Erica McNew singled to left field and Cynthia Woodard brought her around to score with a two-run home run of her own. The home run gave CSU a commanding 6-0 lead and was Woodard's sixth of the year, good enough for third on the team in that category.
Despite allowing one run in the fourth inning to put the score at to 6-1, Cleveland State used another three run offensive surge in the fifth to take a 9-1 lead and win. The game became final at the conclusion of the fifth inning due to NCAA rule (a game is final if one team is leading by eight or more runs after the fifth inning).
A McNew walk, Caila Ferro double and Susan Knight walk loaded the bases for CSU in the fifth with one out and that's when they really did their damage. Freshman Alyson Broschk started it off with an RBI single to center field. Nena Doran then followed with a two RBI double to left field to give CSU the eight run lead.
Despite the big offense and Toman's records taking the headline, freshman Susan Knight wasn't ready to be left out of the great performers in game one. Knight picked up her 11th win of 2013 in five innings of work, scattering three hits over those five innings while also not allowing an earned run.
Although Cleveland State put on a dominating performance all the way around in the early game Monday, they were unable to keep it going in game two, falling to the Phoenix 7-3.
Green Bay used a six run second inning to take a 6-0 lead in the afternoon contest. Despite home runs from Toman (a solo shot to left) and McNew (a two-run blast to center), Cleveland State was unable to climb all the way back.
The second homer of the day for Toman gave her nine in 2013 and 54 for her incredible career. McNew also continued an impressive 2013 campaign as she continues to lead both the Vikings and Horizon League in home runs (15) and batting average (.417).
Cleveland State will hit the road this Wednesday for non-league doubleheader action as they take on Niagara beginning at 3:00 p.m.