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UNI Panther softball shuts out Drake in midweek road trip, 6-0

Panthers allow just one hit in shutout of Bulldogs. UNI hosts Illinois State in three-game weekend series scheduled to begin on Friday.

DES MOINES – A breezy afternoon at Buel Field turned into another shutout performance by the UNI softball team as the Panthers blanked the Drake Bulldogs by a 6-0 score on Tuesday afternoon in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play.

Matching up for the third and final game of the regular season series, UNI starting pitcher Samantha Heyer threw a dominant five innings with just one hit allowed with three Panther home runs to pad a shutout performance, helping Northern Iowa sweep the regular season series from the Bulldogs. UNI has now won 12 consecutive games against Drake and extends its winning streak to a season-high six games.

Coming off a scoreless first inning, the Panthers struck first off Drake starting pitcher Emma Dighton as Ava Smithson and Taylor Hogan recorded back-to-back one-out singles, followed up by a Savanna Jemilo walk to load the bases. A groundout by Daryn Lamprecht would drive in the game’s first run as Smithson scored on the fielder’s choice to give UNI a 1-0 advantage. Heyer would shut down any chance of a Drake response with a flyout and strike out swinging of Destiny Lewis.

In the fourth frame, Jemilo two-out walk would set up another RBI opportunity for Northern Iowa as Lamprecht launched a home run to left-field to extend UNI’s lead to 3-0. In the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs would get their first hit on a two-out single by Frankie Rita, but wouldn’t score.

Kate Lappe joined in the hitting with a lead-off solo home run to right-center field to lead off the fifth, helping warm up a productive inning for the Panther offense. After an Addison McElrath single and Smithson single down the left-field line, Drake made a pitching change by inserting Jayme Scheck into the lineup. With runners at the corners, a Taylor Hogan bunt single back to the pitcher would score pinch runner Gretta Hartz from third, streaking UNI’s lead to 5-0.

Anna Wischnowski entered the pitching circle for the Panthers in the final two innings and retired the final six Bulldog batters. Madison Parks’ double to left-center field in the sixth would set up another RBI opportunity for Lappe, who doubled to right-center to stretch the Panther lead to 6-0, while Jemilo gave the Panthers another baserunner in the seventh frame with her first career triple.

Northern Iowa improves to 25-15 and 13-5 in MVC play with the win, while the Bulldogs fall to 19-22 and 7-11 in league action.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

The Panthers improve to 83-57 all-time against Drake after Tuesday’s win. UNI has now won eight of its last ten games.
UNI outscored the Bulldogs 20-5 across its three-game series over the last three weeks. The Panthers also out-hit Drake 32-13, including 12-1 in Tuesday’s victory.
Samantha Heyer improves to 13-6 on season after recording eight strikeouts in five innings of work with one hit allowed and four walks.
Heyer recorded her 150th strikeout of the season on Tuesday, marking her second straight season with at least 150 punchouts. The reigning MVC Pitcher of the Year struck out 252 batters in 2023.
Daryn Lamprecht’s fourth inning home run was her sixth of the year. Lamprecht led UNI with three RBIs in Tuesday’s win, improving her total to 17 on the season.
Kate Lappe’s home run to lead off the fifth inning was her fifth of the year. Her RBI double in the sixth inning was her seventh double of the season, her 26th RBI and 14th extra base hit of 2024.

UP NEXT
The Panthers are scheduled to host the Illinois State Redbirds in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT at the Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex in Cedar Falls. Live coverage can be found on ESPN+.

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