IUP drops season-opening twinbill
Crimson Hawks lose to SW Minn. State, Saginaw Valley St.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Tenth-ranked Indiana (Pa.) kicked off its 2012 season Friday at the Rebel Spring Games with contests against Southwest Minnesota State and Saginaw Valley State. The Crimson Hawks were unable to hold off a late rally in game one, falling to the Mustangs 13-9. Game two saw much more of a pitchers' duel, however timely hitting by the Saginaw Valley State proved to be the difference as IUP lost 3-1.
There was a lot of scoring early with Southwest Minnesota, as the Mustangs put up one run in each of the first two innings before the Crimson Hawks scored four in their half of the second to take a two-run lead.
Jen Beaver would start IUP's second inning with a single down the left-field line before Kaylee Prendergast walked and Marissa Leslie reached on a fielder's choice, loading the bases. Then Monica Iachini would take advantage of an error by the Mustangs third baseman, advancing to second on the throw while Beaver came across the plate. Another error by the third baseman put Megan McCormick on second one batter later, with Leslie and Iachini coming home to score. Jasa Mitchell then belted a double to left, bringing McCormick around from second for IUP's fourth run of the inning.
The Mustangs would take their lead back in the third, putting up five runs on IUP starter Kelly King to go on top 7-4 before the Crimson Hawks exploded for five runs in the bottom half as the scorefest continued.
Ashley Strack started the third with a walk and after a pitching change by Southwest Minnesota, moved to third as Mary Ward doubled to left. Beaver would load the bases as she reached on another error at third before Prendergast's single to center brought home Strack. Ward became the first out of the inning as she was thrown out at home, but Leslie was still able to reach to keep the bases loaded.
Iachini then brought home a run the hard way, getting hit by a pitch as Beaver crossed the plate for the second run of the inning. The Crimson Hawks would continue to capitalize on mistakes by the Mustangs, as Prendergast came home on another error, later setting the plate for an RBI single to center by Tara Waldo, bringing home McCormick and Iachini as IUP took a 9-7 lead into the fourth.
A run by Southwest Minnesota in the fourth cut its deficit to one as IUP threatened in the bottom half, getting two on but was unable to bring anyone home.
Unfortunately that would be the last time the Crimson Hawks would have a good chance at scoring as the Mustangs scored two in the sixth and three in the seventh for the 13-9 win.
Alexa Campbell took to the circle against Saginaw Valley as she threw four scoreless innings before IUP scored the game's first run in the fifth as a throwing error by the third baseman allowed Prendergast to score from first.
Saginaw Valley would also take advantage of a mistake in its half of the inning to get on the board, scoring on a throwing error before later bringing one home on a single to take a 2-1 lead. They would tack on another run on the sixth, shutting down the Crimson Hawks the rest of the way to take the 3-1 win.
Prendergast, Beaver, Iachini and McCormick each scored twice on the day, while Beaver was the only Crimson Hawk with two hits. Campbell threw a combined 6.1 innings in the two games, including her complete game against Saginaw Valley, striking out one and allowing seven hits and two walks.
The Crimson Hawks are back in action Saturday with games against Concordia-St. Paul and Lees-McRae.