Eagles, Cardinals, End The Day Even

Cayla Seidler
Cayla Seidler

Not all doubleheader splits are created equal.

Earlier this season when the Eagles were splitting GLIAC doubleheaders, frustration set in for AU players and coaches. The feeling was that the Eagles should have been doing better.

That's not the case this week. Wednesday at Grand Valley State, the Eagles went 1-1 against the Lakers. Friday (Apr. 18) at Brookside Park, the Eagles split a twinbill against Saginaw Valley State. This is hard work against highly skilled teams.

GVSU and SVSU are both regionally ranked. AU, however, has the best regional ranking out of the three teams - the Eagles are fourth. Saginaw Valley State is fifth and on Saturday, AU lost the first game, 4-2 before bouncing back to win the second game, 6-3.

AU is 21-12 and 10-6 in the GLIAC. The Cardinals are 20-6 and 12-3.

In the lid-lifter, SVSU's Shelby Weeks took center stage. She led off the top of the first inning with a double and scored from second base on a sacrifice bunt by Mackenzie Rousse. In the third inning, Weeks belted a two-run homer. She ended the first game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

AU trailed, 4-0 entering the last of the seventh. Second baseman Cayla Seidler led off with a single and center fielder Taylor Menhart doubled. At that point, the Cardinals excused Sarah Vrabel (9-3) from the circle and called on Alex Gehrls.

Designated player Sarah Alley greeted Gehrls with a two-run single. Gehrls recovered and retired Kayla Prokopakis and Jen Moore on infield popups. Shelbie Prince singled and that got Alley to third base. The game ended when Gehrls was able to retire Carly West on a ground ball back to the circle.

Vrabel got the win and Gehrls got her second save of the season. The loss went to Amber McDermott, who pitched four innings and allowed four runs on five hits. McDermott is 6-2.

The second game was tied, 1-1 through four innings. The Eagles went on a scoring spree by scoring twice in the fifth, once in the sixth and twice in the seventh. Those two runs in the seventh came on catcher Kourtney Yarnall's first homer of the season. Her round-tripper came with two outs.

SVSU retaliated with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Alley, who started play on Friday with a .414 batting average, went 2-for-3 in the second game. Moore was 2-for-2. AU has four players hitting over .400 - Seidler, Menhart, West and Alley.

Alley also got the win. She toiled for six innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits. Brittany Flanigan pitched the seventh inning.

Kari Knight and Abby Stoner had two hits each for the Cardinals. Weeks hit another home run, giving her five for the season.

The loss went to Sarah Appold (6-1). She went 4.2 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits. She walked five and struck out eight.

AU and Wayne State will play another GLIAC doubleheader on Saturday (Apr. 19, noon) at Brookside Park.