Home Runs Power CSU to Split at Jackson State

March 14, 2013

Contact: Jeff Sattora

Final Stats

Jackson, Miss- The Cleveland State Vikings bounced back from an early 2-1 loss with an 8-6 extra innings victory Thursday night to split an evening doubleheader on the road with the Jackson State Lady Tigers.

Although CSU put a late run on the board in game one, they were unable to come out on top in the 2-1 pitchers' dual.

Freshman Susan Knight (4-4) did her part on the mound in the tough defeat, allowing just the two runs on four hits, with five strikeouts in six innings of work.

For Head Coach Angie Nicholson timing was the biggest factor in game one loss.

"The difference in the game was timely hitting, we had so many opportunities and did not deliver," she said. "They delivered one time and that was the game."

That one time for the host Lady Tigers came in the fourth inning when a one-out walk followed by a single and triple pushed two runs across for the lead and eventual win.

While the Vikings did respond with a Cynthia Woodard homer late, it was not enough to get over the top.

Although a lack of offense was the story for both teams in game one, the hitting picked up in the second game, an 8-6 Cleveland State win.

Home runs were the story of the day for the Vikings in game two, as all eight of their runs came off of homers.

A familiar name led that charge as sophomore Erica McNew continued her hot start to the 2013 campaign with a 3-4 showing at the plate and four RBI's. Those four RBI's came early and in big-time hits, as McNew hit a two-run homer in both the first and third innings to get the offense going. With the two deep shots she now has a team-leading six home runs on the year.

Not wanting to be left out of the early inning action, freshman Alisha Silva also hit a two-run homer of her own in the second inning to join McNew in helping give CSU a 6-4 lead at the end of the third. The two RBI homer was Silva's first career home run.

With the offense leading the way early, the CSU pitching staff picked things up in the later innings as Alex Radjen (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings late to close the game out and pick up the win, her first career college victory.

Following a Susan Knight start and Sara Shields relief appearance, Radjen came in in the sixth inning and allowed just one hit the rest of the way to pick up the win.

Despite the strong performances all the way around for the Vikings the game stayed tight late, as a 6-6 tie forced extra innings.

That eighth inning was when CSU would get its fourth and final homer of the night to walk away victorious. With the no outs and McNew placed on second base to start the inning (due to extra-inning rules), senior Dara Toman stepped up and drilled a two-run blast to win it for the Vikings.

Cleveland State will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when the Vikings take on UTEP at 2:00 p.m. followed by Missouri Valley State at 4:00 p.m. at Jackson State.

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