April 4, 2012
Contact: Tim Ertle
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Vikings dropped their Home Opener on Wednesday (April 4), falling to Niagara 10-0 in five innings. It was the first home game for Cleveland State after 34 games at a road or neutral site.
The Vikings are now 8-27 overall while Niagara improved to 5-18.
Niagara jumped on CSU starting pitcher Sara Shields for a run in the top of the first when Becky Zill laced a two-out double and came around to score on a single to right field by Jennifer Hare.
After the first Purple Eagle to bat in the second doubled to center field, Shields retired the next two hitters. The next three hitters, however, all recorded hits to knock Shields from the game. When it was all said and done, she was charged with four earned runs in 1.2 innings pitched. Despite striking out three of the 11 batters she faced, Shields took the loss and fell to 6-10.
Megan Bashak worked 2.1 innings and allowed five runs - four of which were earned - on four hits. Alex Radjen relieved Bashak after she faced five batters in the fifth and allowed a run while walking two and striking out a pair.
Cleveland State never could solve Niagara starting pitcher Julie DiMatteo. She only allowed a double to Dara Toman in the first inning before leaving the game after four innings. Nena Doran started the fifth with a leadoff single off reliever Kim Bryson, but the only other baserunner to reach for CSU was Andrea Nagy, and she did so when she reached on an error on a sharply-hit ball in the fourth.
DiMatteo picked up the win to improve to 2-3. She allowed just the double to Toman and had four strikeouts while facing two above the minimum.
Shields was 0-for-2 and saw her nine-game hitting streak come to an end. It was the longest such streak by a Viking all season.
The Vikings will look to snap an eight-game losing skid when they re-enter Horizon League play on Friday (April 6) when Wright State visits Viking Field for a 3:00 p.m. game. The series will conclude with a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday (April 7).