SANDUSKY, Ohio – Making its second consecutive appearance in the GLIAC Tournament, the Purdue Northwest softball team rallied to get a win after losing to start the day at Sports Force Park. Davenport took the win over PNW 4-1 in the Pride’s first game of the day, before they avenged it with a 6-4 win over Ashland.
The Pride had the odds stacked against them as Davenport was the second-best team in the conference, and Panther pitcher Mallory Teunissen was dialed in.
The Pride were only able to muster a single hit as Teunissen struck out eight, although she did walk five Pride batters. Heather O’Kelly struck the only hit of the game for the Pride in the top of the third inning. After a strikeout to start the inning, O’Kelly smacked a triple down the right-field line.
The lone run of the first game for the Pride came in the sixth inning, as senior Tessa Steffens was able to come around on a fielding error after a ball in play from O’Kelly.
A bases-clearing double in the fourth provided the knockout punch as DU got the 4-1 victory and pushed the Pride to the consolation bracket.
The Pride needed a win to stay alive in the GLIAC tournament, and Amanda Noblett did her part to make sure exactly that happened. The Lake Central graduate made The Region proud as she blasted a solo home run to get PNW on the board first against the Eagles of Ashland.
After adding two more runs in the inning, Ashland responded with a pair of runs to cut the lead to one. In the fourth, PNW struck again. A fielders’ choice allowed Sabryna Stanley to get a run, which was followed up by a Zoee Anderson RBI single to score fellow senior Olivia Sardella. 1B Kalyn Learnard laid down a sacrifice bunt which allowed Shailen Johnson to score.
The Pride hung on and got the 6-4 win, as Courtney Blackwell got her 13th win of the season in relief. The Pride will live on to fight another day, as they will face Saginaw Valley State at 9:00 a.m. CT to kick off the second day of the conference tournament. PNW is now one loss away from elimination as they take on the Cardinals, as the Black and Gold lost the season series 3-1.