No. 6 GVSU softball earns 24th win, claims victory in three of four games

GVL / Emily Frye      
Softball vs SVSU on Sunday March 25, 2018.

GVL / Emily Frye Softball vs SVSU on Sunday March 25, 2018.

Kellen Voss

The No. 6 ranked Grand Valley State softball team had a fairly successful week, winning both games at home to Northwood on Tuesday, April 2 before splitting the doubleheader with Saginaw Valley State two days later.

Game one was a dominant fare, as they were able to swiftly defeat the Timberwolves 8-0. The Laker offense had a successful game, with Nikola Holmen leading the way with a two-run home run in the third and a two-run double in the sixth, tallying three hits and four RBI in the contest.

While eight runs is enough of a cushion for most softball teams, a small one-run lead would have been enough for Allison Lipovsky, earning her 12th win in an artful complete game where the senior only gave up five hits while striking out ten Northwood batters.

The second game was a much different affair for the Lakers, as after it looked like they would coast to an easy victory due to mercy rule, Northwood exploded to score eight runs in the fourth inning to tie the game at 10. After up-and-down pitching performances from freshmen Samantha Gehrls and Hannah Dieck, Lipovsky came in to try and earn the win.

After giving up a three-run homer to Abby Joseph in the sixth, Lipovsky was able to get her pitches move a bit more to earn her 13th victory, as the Lakers won, 14-13.

“I pitched fairly well in the first game, there was a couple balls that I plated and the pitches just didn’t move the way I needed them to,” Lipovsky said. “In the second game, on the home run I just plated it, it was an inside pitch that didn’t move. I had the confidence that my team was going to get the hits they needed anyways, it wasn’t something where it was detrimental and I was super upset about it, it happened and I just have to get over it.”

Head coach Dana Callihan was proud of the way her team was able to rebound off the late home run, but still feels like they need to enhance their play in the field.

“We hit the ball well, we had a couple defensive things that left the door open. Northwood’s a scrappy team, they’re not just going to roll over and die,” Callihan said. “We could have rolled over very easily, we’ve got a lot of character and a lot of grit, and we’re not just going to roll over and die.”

The Lakers were able to carry their momentum to SVSU, as they were able to win the first game of the doubleheader 7-0. The five-through-seven spots in the lineup were firing on all cylinders as Brooke Henning, Morgan Wagner and Bailey Thatcher combined for five hits and five RBI in the win.

It was yet another dominant affair from Lipovsky, as she earned her 14th win in game where she only allowed one hit and struck out 12 cardinals in a complete seven-inning victory. While the second pitching spot has been up in the air with Hannah Beatus’ recent injury, Callihan loves being able to count on her ace in at least one game of every doubleheader.

“Allison has been a rock,” Callihan said. “Hopefully our freshmen are learning from that a little bit, we’ll get through the pitching injuries we’ve had and we’ll better for it in the long run.”

The second game saw the Lakers lose their only game of the week despite home runs from Holmen, Lydia Goble and Shannon Flaherty. SVSU, which leads the GLIAC in batting average, was able to amass nine runs on nine hits, including a four-run push in their seventh victory.

Following these four games, GVSU now sits at 24-4 and lead the GLIAC with 8-2 wins in conference. In order to keep the good times rolling, Callihan thinks her team still needs to improve defensively and not worry as much about what the opposing team is doing.

“We’re going to go out and control the things that we can control,” Callihan said “We’ll work on the things we’ve been struggling with, we don’t worry about other teams so much, obviously we talk about what they have and what their game plan is, but we tend to focus more on us, play our game, and control the things we can control.”

GVSU has eight games this week, as they’ll have a doubleheader with Davenport at home on Tuesday, April 9, before traveling for doubleheaders with Purdue Northwest, Davenport and Wisconsin Parkside later in the week.