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February 29, 2024

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Walking their way to victory

Allison Vallas had such a battle at the plate when she drew a game-winning bases loaded walk yesterday afternoon that she almost forgot to walk to first.

The walked-in run ended a game that featured some tough pitching. Both teams squeaked their way out of tough jams, but Ohio’s Candace Warden lost a hard battle with Vallas in the bottom of the seventh and the Falcons took home a 3-2 victory.

As OU exited the field, Vallas almost walked back to the dugout to celebrate the win before realizing she had to go to first to make the walk official. She battled Warden hard to earn the walk, fouling off several pitches.

“I honestly didn’t even know you had to do that, I thought it was over,” Vallas said with a laugh. “I was just looking for a good pitch to drive, the ones that I was fouling off seemed like they were kind of outside, not the kind of pitch I was looking for, but they would have been strikes so I just had to foul them off.”

Hayley Wiemer pitched well and got out of a few sticky situations. The first inning saw her retire the side after Debbie Szalejko reached third base with no one out. The Falcons came out in the first inning and scored by stringing together three hits, Wiemer scored on Desiree Miller’s single to make it 1-0.

In the fifth inning OU would strike back. They scored the run on a double-steal play with runners on the corners and it was 1-1. The play resulted in another runner at third but Weimer struck out Maureen McElvey to get out of the inning. BG jumped right back on top the next inning.

Ashley Zirkle led the inning off with a long drive that looked like trouble but Szalejko made a play that could probably make Sportscenter’s Top 10. Dawnjene DeLong drew a two-out walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on Hayley Wiemer’s double to put the Falcons back on top at 2-1.

But Ohio would tie it up in the seventh. Errors and infield singles had already allowed a run as Wiemer found herself in a bases loaded jam. A heads up play by Megan McPherson saved the inning for Wiemer as she tagged the runner going from first to second and threw out the batter at first to end the inning. It was 2-2 heading into the final frame.

“We knew we were going to come back we had the bottom of the seventh,” said Wiemer.

And they did. A potential double play ball that was dropped at second base put runners on first and second for the Falcons. Two outs later, Miller singled to load the bases. Vallas followed with the walk that ended the game.

“Whoever is in there is going to get it done, anyone on the team is just as capable as anyone else,” Wiemer said.

The win ended a 2-4 week for BG. They split four games between Friday and yesterday.

BG and Akron faced off in a double-header on Friday. They lost the first game 3-1 and followed with a 3-0 win in the night cap. Saturday saw the Falcons drop a 12-inning excursion to the Bobcats in the first game of the series.

Wiemer had a superb weekend both at the plate and from the pitching rubber. She did not give up an earned run in her two appearances and had five hits. She injured her ankle but would fool anyone who saw her play this weekend as it was not at all evident in her performance.

“Wiemer is a competitor, she does not care if something is falling off of her body, she will get it done,” said BG coach Leigh Ross

The Falcons are now 22-14 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. Their next game is tomorrow at 4 p.m. against Michigan State in East Lansing.

Hayley wiemer

Wiemer’s stats from BG’s four games over the weekend:

5-12 hitting 1 R, 1 RBI Two pitching appearances, both complete games Gave up two runs, neither was earned 14 Ks

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