Contact: Alan Ashby
March 19, 2004
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Despite giving up just one earned run, Cleveland State could do no more than split its final two contests in the Rebel Spring Games. The Vikings (5-13) defeated Bucknell 5-0 in the opener and then dropped a 3-0 decision to IUPUI.
Sophomore Grace Luginbuhl (Lima, Ohio/Bath) continued her impressive run through the tournament with a complete game two-hit shutout of Bucknell (2-5). She matched her season-high with 10 strikeouts and did not walk a batter. In 11 appearances in the Games, she allowed just one earned run (0.13 ERA) while striking out 65 in 52.1 innings of work.
CSU got all the runs it would need in the bottom of the first when it turned three hits and a trio of Bison errors into three runs. Junior third baseman Anna Hubert (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) plated a pair of runs in the third with a single -- one her two hits in the game. Junior catcher Jackie Cornelius (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) also collected a pair of hits.
In the second game, junior Kortney Spidell (Strasburg, Ohio/Strasburg-Franklin) traded zeros with IUPUI's Angelica Espinosa for the first five innings. After the Jaguars started the bottom of the sixth with three consecutive singles to load the bases, Spidell (0-5) was lifted in favor of Luginbuhl. She appeared to walk the next batter after a check swing on a full count, but an appeal to the base umpire determined the hitter had swung. However, in a bizarre turn of events, the baserunners moved up before the appeal, thinking it was a walk. After a five-minute conference, the umpires determined the run counted due to the fact it was a live-ball appeal. Both runners went on to score when the Vikings mishandled a chance in the infield.
Despite out-hitting IUPUI nine to six, CSU failed to score as it stranded eight runners. Spidell and sophomores Shannon Graves (Medina, Ohio/Medina) and Kaitlin Guyette (Mantua, Ohio/Crestwood) each picked up two hits for the Vikings.
"Grace continues to amaze -- she is so even-keeled out there in the circle," CSU head coach Julie Jones pointed out. "Despite what happened with the call in the second game, we had plenty of chances to score, but just couldn't get a hit at the right time."
Cleveland State takes to the field again next weekend when the Vikings open Horizon League play at Loyola. The teams will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 27 at 2:00 p.m. CST, followed by a single game the same time the next day.