Clutch hits by Vallas lead to two home wins for BG

Confidence usually helps bring success in sports. The BGSU softball team knows that and bounced back from two losses to Central Michigan on Friday by taking two from Eastern Michigan over the weekend.

Lindsay Heimrich has struggled through injuries this season and came into Friday hitting .180 for the season. That meant nothing this weekend. She went 8-13 over the four games and drove in the winning run for the Falcons in yesterday’s nine-inning 3-2 victory.

“It’s hard when you’re in a slump to get out of things but when you keep that positive attitude that’s only going to help you to get out of it,” said Heimrich.

Another clutch performer from the weekend was Allison Vallas. She came through with the winning hit in Saturday’s 2-1 thriller that took 10 innings to settle. Yesterday was no different as she came up in the ninth inning with a runner on and kept the inning going with another hit. Her confidence in clutch situations has shown.

“I live for those moments. I think I have a different mentality,” said Vallas. “I know I’m going to get it done no matter what.”

The Falcons seemed to be closing in on a victory in the seventh inning. With a runner on second, Eastern Michigan was down to their last out. Kelly Gulliver sent a shot down the third base line that bounced near the line and hit the bag and shot into foul territory down the right field line. The third-base umpire called the ball fair to the dismay of the Falcons. A run scored and tied the game at 2-2.

“It was disappointing. I knew even if they tied it that we were going to win,” Vallas said. “There was just that feeling the whole game that they were not going to win.”

Liz Vrabel pitched a stellar game and her defense stepped up when she needed them. Second basemen Megan McPherson made a tremendous diving catch to end the seventh and shortstop Dawnjene De Long made another in the eighth inning to help pick up Vrabel after the controversial play. Her weekend totals were staggering.

“Our defense is amazing. When it gets to the ninth and tenth inning my arm starts tiring out so it lets me relax knowing they’re out there and will make those plays,” said Vrabel.

Friday’s losses to Central Michigan were by score s of 3-2 and 10-4 respectively. The losses put the Falcons in second place for the time being.

“This weekend was tiring. Friday we were pretty bummed but we came back the next day knowing we had two more games of equal importance,” Vrabel said.

BG is heading into the final stretch of the season with just eight games remaining. The Mid-American Conference Tournament awaits them and they have played well in the conference with a record of 11-5.

“We mainly are going to try and aim for that number one spot,” Vrabel said. “We want to finish strong and head into the MAC tournament strong.”