A return to the state of Ohio couldn't cool off the red-hot Urbana University softball team on Friday night. The Blue Knights, who opened the season with seven straight wins in Myrtle Beach, swept regional rival Malone University 7-3 and 8-0 to improve to 9-0 this season. The Blue Knights have won a school-record 15 straight games dating back to last season. Urbana has outscored its opponents 71-5 this year.
Urbana junior first baseman Heather Martin opened the day's scoring with a solo shot in the top of the second inning of Game 1. Senior shortstop Heather Hakola tacked on another run with an RBI double in the third. Hakola was 3 for 4 in Urbana's Game 1 victory.
The lead grew to 6-0 after Urbana put up a pair of runs on the board in the fourth and fifth inning. Junior starting pitcher Haley Jo Kolmerten (pictured) aided her cause with a pair of RBI doubles. The insurance runs helped, because the Pioneers pushed three runs across the plate in the fifth and sixth innings. Urbana only allowed two runs through the season's first seven games.
Kolmerten went the distance to earn her fifth win of the season on the mound. She struck out nine and did not walk a batter over seven innings of work.
Urbana opened the scoring even earlier in Game 2. Freshman Morgan Haer doubled in Hakola and Ashley Skinner to put the visitors out in front 2-0 after one inning. Haer drove in another run in the second. She finished 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs in Game 2. Martin and Skinner also had RBIs in the nightcap.
Junior starting pitcher Lauren Anderson shut out the Pioneers over the first four innings to pick up her fourth win of the season. Anderson struck out 4, walked 1 and allowed 4 hits in the win. Freshman Cortney Moore closed out the victory with 3 scoreless innings.
Urbana's home opener on Saturday has been canceled. Weather permitting, the Blue Knights will travel to the University of Rio Grande on Sunday for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.
Tigers Take First Game of Weekend Series
The visiting Tigers from Salem International University took advantage of a huge first inning to top the Blue Knight baseball team 15-12 on Friday night at Urbana University. The Tigers touched up Urbana starter Billy Kosachook for six runs in the top of the first inning. The lead was 12-1 after two and a half innings.
Urbana outhit the Tigers 16-12. Blue Knights Robert Tavone Jr., Greg Liming, Jose Vargas, Colt Turley and Drew Ryan all homered in the contest. Ryan's blast was a 2-out grand slam in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little, too late in the home-opening loss. Ryan finished 3 for 5. Liming was a perfect 4 for 4 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. These same two teams will try to play two more on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1:00, weather permitting.