Mike Anderson, NKU Sports Information
box score | NKU-UWF box score
DECATUR, Ala. – The Northern Kentucky University softball team made use of the long ball in picking up a 4-1 win over Lynn en route to a sweep in Day 2 action at the UAH Charger Chillout.
Ashley Gates broke up a scoreless tie with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, smashing the eighth pitch of the at bat over the left field wall for her first home run of the season, bringing in Katybeth Coode and Amanda Smith to break things open.
Rose Broderick added a two-out solo shot over the centerfield wall of her own in the fifth inning to extend the lead to four. Broderick moved to fourth all-time at NKU with 11 career home runs.
The Fighting Knights ended Chelsie Roy's (1-1) shutout bid in the sixth on Katrina Lavadan's RBI-single, but the Norse sophomore bore down and pitched out of a jam in the seventh to record the victory.
Roy struck out three and did not walk a batter while scattering six hits in the victory.
Strong pitching gave way to clutch hitting in Game 2 as the Norse struggled to get base hits against a defensively sound West Florida squad. After the Argonauts manufactured a run in the bottom of the first inning, the Norse came back with three solidly hit balls in the second, all finding gloves in the field.
A hard-hit double by Caurie Miller in the fifth increased the lead to 2-0 for West Florida, and with the defense continuing to be strong through the sixth, NKU had a challenge to overcome in the game's final inning.
Coode and Smith opened up strong with back-to-back singles to open the seventh frame, setting the stage for Cara Parker's high fly ball to short right field. Franny Bell made the catch as Coode tagged up for a play at the plate. As the relay came in to UWF catcher Kat Sheppard, Coode came in with a hard slide and a collision, causing Sheppard to drop the ball and the run to score, ending the shutout bid. The play allowed Gretchen Lorenz, pinch running for Smith, to move up to second as well.
Gates came through in the clutch once again, smashing an 0-1 pitch down the left field line to not only plate Lorenz and tie the game, but put herself on third base thanks to some smart base running. Gates would prove to be the go-ahead run just one pitch later, as Shatona Campbell laid down a picture perfect suicide-squeeze bunt to score Gates.
April Ehlers (2-0) pitched a near-flawless seventh to keep the victory. On the game, Ehlers fanned nine batters while walking seven.
NKU (3-1) moves on to the final day of the UAH Charger Chillout, when the Norse will face off against No. 4 Barry and West Georgia.