Contact: Alan Ashby
April 9, 2004
FAIRBORN, Ohio - Just a little over a year since going toe-to-toe for 18 innings, Cleveland State and Wright State squared off in a 14-inning affair in which the Vikings finally prevailed, 2-1, after three-and-a-half hours. Last March 29 in Cleveland, the Raiders came out on top, 11-10, in a wild contest that lasted nearly six hours and featured 23 hits and 18 errors. Friday's game was a little tamer, as the teams combined for 20 hits and only one miscue.
CSU opened the scoring in the top of the second, sandwiching two infield singles around a pair of walks as junior right fielder Michelle Nicholas (Navarre, Ohio/Massillon, Perry) drove in the game's first run.
The lead wouldn't last for long however, as WSU took advantage of a double, an error and a double steal to knot the game at 1-1.
That's exactly how the score would remain for the next 11 innings before the Vikings finally broke through in the 14th. Junior designated player Kortney Spidell (Strasburg, Ohio/Strasburg) led off with a double and was sacrificed to third. With two outs, sophomore starting pitcher Grace Luginbuhl (Lima, Ohio/Bath) helped her own cause by lacing a RBI single through the left side of the infield.
The Raiders threatened in the home half of the 14th, putting runners on first and second with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt, Luginbuhl wriggled out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out.
Luginbuhl went the distance, striking out a career-high 15 batters while scattering 13 hits and two walks to even her record a 7-7 on the season.
WSU freshman Amanda Cody (7-10) was nearly as impressive, fanning a career-best 13 batters while giving up seven hits and six walks. After surrendering a leadoff single in the fourth, she retired the next 23 batters before senior left fielder Michelle Beightol (Akron, Ohio/Springfield) tripled with two outs in the 11th.
"On a day where our offense struggled, we really persevered," CSU head coach Julie Jones said. "Grace battled all day long and came up with the big hit in the 14th. I don't know what happens when these two teams get together, but we just can't seem to settle things in seven innings."
Due to a lack of lights preventing the start of the originally scheduled second game, the teams will now play a twin bill tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m.