April 7, 2012
Contact: Tim Ertle
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Superb pitching from Sara Shields and Megan Bashak and the offense coming up with timely hits helped Cleveland State sweep Saturday's (April 7) doubleheader with Wright State at Viking Field.
With the wins, the Vikings are now 10-28 overall and 3-6 in the Horizon League. Wright State slips to 15-20 and 5-4 in the league.
Game one on Saturday was a pitcher's duel between Shields and Wright State's Krystian DeWitt. Both pitchers went the distance and allowed five hits while striking out eight, but DeWitt made one more mistake than Shields.
Dara Toman started the scoring with a solo home run - her league best 15th blast of the year - to left field to give CSU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
The Vikings tacked on what proved to be an extremely important insurance run later in the inning. Bashak followed the Toman homer with a single to left and moved up a station on a sacrifice bunt by Andrea Nagy. After a Shields walk, Bashak and Shields each moved up one base on a Nena Doran groundout.
With two outs, Caila Ferro had a clutch single back up the middle to plate Bashak and give CSU a two-run cushion.
Shields allowed a run in the top of the seventh after she starting the inning with two strikeouts. Chelsea Archer doubled to center and scored when Kortney Tackett singled to right center.
With the go-ahead run at the plate, Shields retired Amy Machen to end game one.
She came right back in game two and got the starting nod in the circle. The Raiders had three hits in the first two innings but couldn't bring a run in.
Cleveland State brought four runs in on one swing of the bat in the bottom of the second thanks to freshman catcher Salena Kauffman. Shields walked and moved to second on Nena Doran's sacrifice bunt. Ferro reached on an error by the Wright State third baseman and then Hannah Yoe walked to load the bases. With the table set, Kauffman belted her first career homer over the fence in left field to stake her battery mate to a 4-0 lead.
Shields took the lead into the fourth when the Raiders got to her for two runs on two hits, but Kauffman's second home run of the game got a run back in the home half of the inning and gave CSU a 5-2 advantage after four innings.
Bashak came in to relieve Shields in the top of the fifth and allowed just one baserunner - and that came on an error - to reach in her three innings of work.
The offense gave Bashak some more breathing room with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Yoe singled home Shields, but the senior lefty wouldn't allow Wright State to even threaten the CSU lead.
Chelsea Contant (2-2) started game two for Wright State and was charged with the loss after allowing four runs - three of which were earned - in her three innings of work. DeWitt (11-17) pitched the last three frames and allowed two runs, but again poor WSU defense gave CSU an unearned run.
With two wins on Saturday, Shields improved her record to 8-10. She allowed just three runs in 11 innings and had 12 strikeouts compared to two walks. Bashak faced one above the minimum to pick up her first save of the season.
Kauffman, who didn't have an extra base hit entering Saturday, led the offense with a 3-for-5 (.600) day. She scored on both of her home runs and drove in five runs. Ferro, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, was 3-for-6 (.500) with a run scored and Yoe was 2-or-5 (.400) with a run scored and a RBI.
Bashak was the only other Viking with two hits on the day as she turned in a 2-for-6 (.333) performance and scored a run. Shields and Kauffman were the only two Vikings to score more than one run on Saturday.
The Vikings will continue their eight-game homestand with four more games at Viking Field this week. CSU and Kent State will play a pair on Tuesday (April 10) before St. Francis (Pa.) visits for a doubleheader on Thursday (April 12). Both doubleheaders will begin at 3:00 p.m. and be broadcast live on the Horizon League Netork.