GVSU soph throws third career no-hitter

GVL Archive
Briauna Taylor

GVL Archive Briauna Taylor

Jay Bushen

A sunburnt Sara Andrasik made her way to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with an opportunity most sophomore pitchers could only dream of.

Nineteen pitches and three strikeouts later, Andrasik proved she is no ordinary sophomore.

Her third career no-hitter was the highlight of an impressive 9-2 spring break trip for the No. 20 Grand Valley State University softball team last week under mostly sunny skies at the NTC Softball Complex in Clermont, Fla.

“It really is crazy every time it happens,” the 2013 GLIAC Freshman of the Year said. “You kind of have it in the back of your mind throughout the game and your heart starts beating really fast toward the end.

“You just have to finish the game with confidence.”

The stat line showed she had more than enough confidence throughout the game’s entirety.

She threw 113 pitches in seven innings of work and allowed no hits and just three walks as the Lakers defeated Notre Dame College of Ohio 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The Sagamore Hills, Ohio, product also threw a pair of no-hit victories in 2013 at home against Ferris State University on April 7 and Lake Superior State University on April 28.

“The team was behind me the entire way,” she said. “You have more confidence knowing they are behind you; you don’t have to strike everyone out.”

GVSU (11-4), which fell 16 spots in the NFCA Division II poll after a 2-2 outing at the Lewis Dome Tournament, had a number of standout performances in the 11-game stretch.

A pair of seniors, shortstop Briauna Taylor and third baseman Miranda Cleary, were dangerous at the plate all week long for the Lakers. Both players have racked up 23 hits already this season.

“Hitting is contagious on our team,” Cleary said. “If one person gets a hit, someone follows with another and it just continues. We are able to score a lot of runs at one time.”

Taylor blasted five home runs overall to increase her season total to six, while her 29 RBI’s rank as the most on the team. Cleary, who cracked a game-changing grand slam in a 5-3 win against Holy Family University on Friday, is first on the team with a .593 on-base percentage and a .867 slugging percentage.

The duo owns the most RBIs and home runs in the GLIAC to date.

“Briauna just tattooed a couple of those, and Miranda had the grand slam when we were down early and were just trying to hang in there,” head coach Doug Woods said.

The team leaders seemed to set the example while many of the newcomers managed to raise their level of play, as well.

Freshman infielder Jenna Lenza, who had homered in her first career at-bat on Feb. 22, now has 22 hits in her rookie campaign to go with the third-highest batting average on the team (.415).

“We have 17 players and we used everybody down here in one form or another,” Woods said on Saturday. “It’s good to get the team to gel together. It’s a weeklong, team-bonding trip and from what I can see, we’ve got pretty good chemistry.”

The Lakers will hit the road once again this weekend to play four games against three different teams in Indiana and Kentucky.