Contact: Alan Ashby
April 21, 2004
CLEVELAND - Cleveland State (20-18) erupted for 27 runs and 24 hits in a doubleheader sweep of St. Francis (Pa.) in a constant rain on Wednesday at Viking Field. The 15-0 (5 inn.) and 12-2 (6 inn.) victories pushed the Vikings' winning streak to 11 games, eclipsing the previous school record of 10 set by the 1997 squad that went on to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The 15 runs in the opener tied the school record for scoring against a Division I team, matching the mark set in a 15-0 victory on March 25, 1995 against Dayton.
Fueled by a 14-3 showing so far in April, CSU moved above .500 for the first time since March 9, 2001 when the Vikings opened with a 2-1 record.
"This team is so different from the 1997 team, because we've had a much tougher road and are more balanced," CSU head coach Julie Jones said. "Unlike 1997, when we had to rely heavily on a couple of players, it seems like a different person steps up for us every day."
Senior left fielder Michelle Beightol (Akron, Ohio/Springfield) had a career day, going 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored. Her two-run home run in the first game capped off an 11-run first inning, while her two-run shot in the bottom of first in game two began a string of 12 unanswered tallies after the Red Flash (5-27) pushed a pair of runs across in the top of the inning.
Junior right fielder Michelle Nicholas (Navarre, Ohio/Perry) extended her team season-best hitting streak to 12 games by going 4-for-6 with three RBI and four runs.
In the circle, junior Kortney Spidell (Strasburg, Ohio/Strasburg) picked up both victories for the Vikings to improve to 8-1 in her last nine appearances and 8-6 overall. In the opener, she allowed four hits and struck out five en route to her third shutout of the season. She then came out of the bullpen in the second game and held St. Francis without a hit over the final 3.2 frames to extend her scoreless streak to 36.0 innings.
After capping off a perfect 8-0 homestand, Cleveland State is in action again tomorrow when the Vikings travel to Niagara for a twin bill beginning at 3:00 p.m.