ADRIAN, Mich. -- The Siena Heights softball team lost both games in a doubleheader against NCAA Division II Saginaw Valley State on Monday afternoon. Ashley Helmink extended her current hitting streak to 12 games as she registered three hits in game one and a grand slam in game two.
Final Scores: Game 1: SVSU 7, SHU 6 | Game 2: SVSU 12, SHU 7
Location: Adrian, Michigan
Records: SVSU (8-8), SHU (15-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Game 1: SVSU def. SHU, 7-6
The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the opening inning of game one. The first run came after a walk with the bases loaded brought a runner home. The following Saginaw Valley batter, Julia Salisbury, singled to left field to score the second run for the Cardinals. Sam Hill singled to lead off the inning for the Saints. Ashley Helmink brought Hill home two batters later when she doubled to center field to cut the deficit to just one run.
Siena would knot things up in the 3rd-inning when Kayla Boland singled up the middle to bring Helmink home. SVSU responded with four runs in the 4th-inning to retake the lead, 6-2. They would add another run in the 6th-inning to take a 7-2 advantage into the final inning of play.
After holding the Cardinals scoreless in the top half of the final inning, the Saints would rally with four runs in the inning but would come up one run short of tying things up. Lily Guerra singled to start the inning and Hill walked to put runners on first and second base. Taylor Mowery would move both runners to scoring position with a ground out before Helmink hit a single up the middle to score them both and cut the lead to 7-4. Racquel Ward doubled to center field, scoring Helmink, to bring SHU within just two runs of tying. A throwing error by the Saginaw Valley pitcher gave Kayla Boland first base and allowed Jordan Bianchi to score for Siena and put the score at 7-6. The Cardinals would get the final out the next play and seal the victory.
Game 2: SVSU def. SHU, 12-7
After a scoreless 1st-inning, Saginaw Valley would take a 1-0 lead in the second. The Saints would have a monstrous bottom half of the 2nd-inning by scoring seven runs. Ward got things going with a single to lead things off. Boland walked and Kelsey Uhl singled to load the bases. A wild pitch would bring Ward home and advance the other runners to second and third. Jordan Bianchi hit a two-RBI single to score Uhl and Boland and give the Saints a 3-1 lead. Lily Guerra singled on the next and the Cardinals errored on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases again. After securing two outs and leaving all runners in place, Helmink stepped up and crushed a grand slam over the left field wall to give Siena the 7-1 lead.
Saginaw Valley chipped away at the Saint lead with three runs in the 3rd-inning and two runs in the fifth to bring the team within one run of tying the game. The Cardinals would tally two runs in the 6th-inning to take an 8-7 lead into the final inning of the day.
A fielding error by Siena put Katy Ratajczak on first base. She would advance to second on a sacrifice bunt the next play. A second fielding error scored Ratajczak before Alicia Kolacki singled to score another run and extend the SVSU lead to 10-7. Blasia Moyler hit a homer over the left field wall to score two more runs for the 12-7 final score.
TOP SAINT HITTERS
• Helmink finished with seven RBIs, four hits, and three runs on the day.
• Guerra also finished with four hits and two runs.
• Ward contributed with a hit in each game for a total of two on the afternoon.
• Racquel Ward (L, 7-1) tallied her first loss of the season as she gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in the first game. She struck out six Cardinals and allowed a home run.
• Kelsey Uhl (L, 5-4) pitched 6.1 innings, giving up 15 hits, nine earned runs, and three home runs. She sat down one SVSU batter.
TOP OPPOSITION HITTERS
• Blasia Moyler and Julia Salisbury each tallied two hits in game one.
• Aubree Mouthaan had four hits while Becky Corbett and Alicia Kolacki each had three to lead the Cardinals in game two.
THE OPPOSITION PITCHING
• Mikayla Alexandrou (W, 3-2) earned the win in relief during game one. She gave up six hits and four earned runs while striking out one Saint batter.
• Jaclyn Groves (W, 1-0) received the win in game two with 5.0 innings pitched.
Siena travels to Ann Arbor to open up Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play against Concordia (Mich.). The first game of that doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.