Saginaw St. takes early series lead
Fulton goes the distance in the circle as Cardinals take Game 1
UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. -- Saginaw Valley State defeated Grand Valley State 5-2 in Game 1 of the NCAA Midwest Super Regional, putting the Cardinals just one win from advancing to their first NCAA Division II Championship tournament.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Natalie Wellman laced a single through the left side that scored Ashley Coffin from third. Starting pitcher Jade Fulton cruised into the fourth inning before Brittany Taylor hit a leadoff home run to deep center to tie the game at 1-1. The Lakers got their first lead on the Cardinals this season in the fifth inning when Miranda Cleary hit another Grand Valley leadoff home run to go up 2-1.
Jessica McKieth led off the fifth inning with a bunt single, and advanced to second on a Coffin single to second base. McKeith came in to score when freshman Marcy Medina reached first on a fielders choice to short. The Cardinals then took the lead later in the inning on a Grand Valley error that allowed pinch runner Samantha Sutton to score from second base.
Saginaw Valley added to its lead when senior Monica Gathright laced a single to left center driving in Jillian Peterson. The Cardinals scored their final run of the inning when pinch-hitter Lindsay Hayward singled up the middle bringing in Wellman to end the scoring at 5-2.
Saginaw Valley held onto the 5-2 lead for the remaining two innings as Fulton and the Cardinal defense shut down the high-powered Grand Valley offense. Both Peterson and McKeith went 2 for 3 in the contest, while Coffin went 2 for 4.
Fulton worked all seven innings to improve to 28-9 on the season. She struck out six, while allowing just two runs on three hits.