GVSU softball dominates Wisconsin Parkside, continue on hot start to season

<p>GVSU softball vs. Parkside.  GVL / Andrew Nyhof</p>

GVSU softball vs. Parkside.  GVL / Andrew Nyhof

Kellen Voss

The Grand Valley State softball team continued their dominant start to the season on Wednesday, March 27 as they picked up their 20th and 21st victories of the season at home against Wisconsin-Parkside by scores of 8-0 and 7-2.

The team has won a multitude of games this season due to their consistency in batting, pitching and base running.

“I can’t complain,” said head coach Dana Callihan. “I thought we played pretty well, got our bats going and got the runs in and our pitching was pretty good.” 

Lights-out pitching was the key to victory in that first game, as senior Allison Lipovsky earned her 11th win of the season, only allowing one hit while striking out 15 rangers in six nearly perfect innings as she continues to make her case for DII Pitcher of the Year.

Solid hitting helped Lipovsky earn the win, as eight Lakers were able to combine for 11 hits in the contest. Nikola Holmen earned two hits and two RBI while scoring two runs, the second coming off her two-run homer that iced the game in the sixth inning.

It was more of the same in the second game for the Lakers, as freshman pitcher Samantha Gehrls had a solid outing of her own, allowing no hits and only one walk for the Rangers in five innings, with Hannah Dieck coming in relief to seal the Laker victory. 

“I did alright, I’m still trying to get back in the groove of things and make some adjustments,” Gehrls said. “I’m just slowly trying to make changes and be comfortable out there.”

While the Laker offense was stagnant for the majority of game two, the bats suddenly exploded in the fourth inning, as hits from Holmen, Bailey Thatcher, Shannon Flaherty and Lydia Goble helped drive in six runs for the Lakers in the inning.

With the Rangers starting to hit their stride with two runs in the final two innings, the Lakers needed a clutch play to secure the win. They got exactly that in the sixth inning when Goble was able to steal home on a wild pitch. 

With the wins, the Lakers improve to 21-3 on the year and currently sit alone in first place in the GLIAC with a 5-1 record. Despite this hot start, Callihan feels the team needs to be more controlled at the plate.

“We still need to be more consistent throughout the lineup,” Callihan said. “Sometimes we lose some discipline when we’re at the plate. We’re a little anxious, so we got to relax up there.”

GVSU will have a chance to make those improvements this week, as they have a home doubleheader with Northwood on Tuesday, April 2, before heading to Saginaw Valley State for a doubleheader with the Cardinals two days later. Both doubleheaders will have games at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.