Falcons reach 30 wins for first time since 2007

Reporter and Reporter

The BG softball team extended its winning streak to eight games by shutting out Oakland University in two games with matching scores of 5-0 on Monday afternoon.

Juniors Paige Berger and Hannah Fulk led the Falcons offensively in game one, both recording three hits apiece. Berger went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and four RBI, while Fulk went 3-for-4, recording a double of her own.

BG got on board early in the first inning, recording one run off two hits. Fulk reached base with a single followed by a sacrifice bunt by Rachel Proehl that moved her to second. Berger then hit a single to match and drove Fulk home.

Berger recorded her second RBI just an inning later in the second as she hit a double that allowed Proehl to score from second, giving the Falcons the early 2-0 lead.

The bats fell silent until the fifth inning where the Falcons found life again, scoring their three final runs of the game. Berger added two more RBI to her total as she again nailed a double that this time brought two runners home. Shelby Fink concluded the scoring with a single that led to the fifth Falcon run of the game.

Freshman pitcher Jamie Kertes pitched the shutout, earning the complete game and a career-high nine strikeouts.

In game two the Falcons repeated their offensive display and again defeated the Grizzlies 5-0.

Berger again was a leading force in the Falcons’ offense as she and Melissa West each recorded two hits. Erika Stratton hit her first home run of the season in the contest.

The Falcons jumped on top early in the first inning thanks to two Oakland fielding errors which led to one run.

It took until the fourth inning for the bats to get hot again, but the Falcons managed to add two more runs off three hits. Katie Yoho singled early in the inning and due to a sacrifice bunt followed by a wild pitch, she moved to third.

Stratton earned herself a walk before being pulled for pinch runner Courtney Cox. Cox used her speed to steal second, which allowed Yoho to steal home on the throw. Freshman Chloe Giordano added the last RBI of the inning, giving the Falcons the 3-0 lead.

Stratton’s solo home run in the sixth would highlight the remainder of the game. The Falcons managed to score another run to match in the sixth inning as well.

Freshman pitcher Paris Imholz earned the complete game win, giving up only three hits while striking out four in the contest.

“Today we played well as a team,” said head coach Shannon Salsburg. “We found a way to make things happen offensively and Jamie [Kertes] and Paris [Imholz] did a good job of shutting down their hitters. I am proud of our effort today.”

The weekday sweep gives the Falcons their longest win streak of the season with six and improves their record to more than 30 wins for the first time since 2007, when they won 33.

The Falcons (31-16, 11-3 MAC) will be back in action Friday with a home doubleheader against Northern Illinois. The first game is scheduled for 1 p.m.