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Falcons offense explodes in home sweep of North Dakota

The BG Softball team played four games over the past three days, two a piece against Miami University and University of North Dakota, improving their record to 15-18-1.

The first two games came against conference opponent Miami University, the first played on Saturday and the second on Sunday. The Falcons split the meetings 1-1 to take a 3-3 conference record and currently sit third in the east division.

The first game was a close 3-1 loss. All of Miami’s runs came in the second inning against starting junior pitcher Jamie Kertes, who allowed the runs off of five Miami hits. Relief sophomore pitcher Braiden Dillow entered the game soon after, allowing zero runs and three hits in 4.2 innings of play. Dillow also recorded three strikeouts.

The only Falcon run of the game came in the top of the sixth, after freshman Amanda Durham started the set up by hitting a single and BG’s second hit of the game. After getting to third off of a hit by senior Katie Yoho, Durham was able to steal home to make the score 3-1.

The team had a final chance to tie the game up in the seventh with runners on second and third with two outs, but Miami was able to force a ground out to close the game and serve Bowling Green a loss.

The second game was a 9-5 win for the Falcons in extra innings.

Kertes bounced back in a big way, allowing two runs on eight hits in 8.1 innings in the circle. She was also credited with the win, improving her record to 9-13.

“Jamie is a competitor. She’s made adjustments and it’s really starting to pay off,” coach Shannon Salsburg said.

The offense came from a range of players with the team totaling a combined 11 hits from six different players. Freshman Chelsea Raker led the team going 3-for-5 at the plate; including a career high four RBIs and a two-run homer in the 10th.

The Orange and Brown led Miami 5-0 after scoring four runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth. Miami was able to tie the game 5-5 after scoring in the fifth, sixth, and seventh; forcing extra innings.

The Falcons were able to finish the job in the 10th with Raker hitting a two-run homer, freshman Trista Mokienko hitting a solo home run, and freshman Madison Schrock scoring from third, giving the team another win in conference play. The Falcons are undefeated in games played in extra innings.

“Everyone contributed in some way,” said Salsburg. “That’s really what it’s going to take for us to win in conference so it was just a really great team win.”

The next two games came on Monday against the University of North Dakota. The Falcons dominated in front of their home crowd, shutting out the visitors in the first game and sending them home early via run-rule in the second game.

Coming off of a solid game in Miami, Kertes continued to throw well from the circle against North Dakota. Kertes pitched the whole game, allowing only four hits and striking out six batters from the opposition.

The board remained scoreless until Schrock hit an RBI in the bottom of the fourth sending in junior Emily McClelland to score from third base. Junior Chloe Giordano then hit an RBI double, allowing Schrock to add another run, giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead. Schrock would go on to score once more in the sixth off of a Marisa Shook RBI that handed North Dakota a 3-0 loss.

The second game of the day against North Dakota earned the Orange and Brown a dominating sweep.

Dillow threw her first complete game of her career for the Falcons. She allowed only three hits and zero runs in addition to two strikeouts in five innings.

The Falcons showed an offensive onslaught with eight players recording at least one hit. Freshmen Aspen Searle and Chelsea Raker led the team in runs for the game with two apiece. Schrock also contributed, hitting her first career homerun in the second inning.

As a team, the Falcons totaled eight RBIs and eight runs on 10 hits. The eight runs came after two being scored in the bottom of the fifth, while North Dakota was still scoreless. In compliance with NCAA rules, this constitutes the Mercy Rule. This rule stops a game if either team is ahead by at least eight runs after five innings.

“To take care of business like that anywhere is big. On our home turf it’s even better. It’s just us continuing to get better as a team,” said Salsburg. “Anybody in our line-up can’t hurt teams. We just want to keep growing.”

The Falcons will continue their conference play against Akron on Friday, followed by games against Ohio University on Saturday and Sunday.

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