Brittany Fortner went 4-for-6 at the plate with a double, a home run and six RBI to lead the Wichita State softball team to a pair of wins over the Northern Iowa Panthers Saturday at Wilkins Stadium.
Liz Broyles hit .500 (3-for-6) on the day with a home run to go along with a 1.000 slugging and .500 on-base percentages, while Melanie Jaegers hit 3-for-7 with two RBIs in the doubleheader.
Game One: Wichita State 9, Northern Iowa 4
Northern Iowa put runners at the corners in the top of the third, threatening to score but Ashley Johnson launched a throw from center to get the runner out at home to keep the game scoreless.
Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off the Shockers in the bottom half of the inning; followed by two straight bunt singles to the pitcher to load the bases before scoring on a fielder’s choice that saw Melanie Jaegers reach first and give Wichita State a 1-0 lead. Brittany Fortner and Paige Luellen kept things going with back-to-back singles and Paige Mason rounded out the inning with a single to right center, giving the Shockers a 5-0 advantage.
The Panthers got on the board in the fifth, scoring on a Shocker throwing error to cut the Wichita State lead, 5-1.
Northern Iowa added another in the sixth with a home run to left field to cut the lead once again, 5-2, heading into the bottom half of the inning.
The Shockers loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth after Kelli Spring drew a walk, Cacy Williams reached on a fielder’s choice and Jaegers hit a single, setting Fortner up for a grand slam to right center, extending the Wichita State lead, 9-2, going into the final inning.
The Panthers scored two runs in the seventh but it was not enough as the Shockers took game one, 9-4 from Northern Iowa.
Katie Malone picked up the win for Wichita State, pitching a complete seven innings and allowing just four hits and four runs, while striking out three.
Game Two: Wichita State 8, Northern Iowa 0
Williams hit a leadoff double to start game two for the Shockers, advancing to third on a Jaegers single and eventually scoring on a throw to second to give Wichita State a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Shockers extended the lead, 3-0, in the third, highlighted by a RBI double to the right field wall by Fortner, giving the sophomore a team-high 12 doubles on the season.
Ali Vandever hit a leadoff single through the left side in the fourth inning, advancing the second on a SAC bunt by Johnson before Williams hit a homerun to right center to give the Shockers a 5-0 lead. Williams leads Wichita State with nine home runs on the year.
Fortner hit a leadoff single through the right side in the fifth inning before Broyles connected on her fourth homerun on the year to give the Shockers a 7-0 advantage.
Wichita State wrapped up the game in the sixth inning when Spring hit a single up the middle and advanced to second on a Williams’ groundout before Jaegers hit a RBI single to left center to give the Shockers a 8-0 victory over the Panthers.
Sloan Anderson (9-11) pitched a complete six innings for Wichita State, allowing just three hits and striking out three in the victory.
The Shockers will wrap up the series against the Panthers Sunday with the first pitched scheduled for 12 p.m.