Big hits from the Crimson Hawks assisted them to their 10th straight victory in a doubleheader against Slippery Rock University Wednesday, winning 12-2 and 6-5.
But the winning streak came to a halt Saturday in a doubleheader against California University of Pennsylvania, as the Hawks lost 0-12 and 3-5, dropping Indiana University of Pennsylvania to 12-14 overall and 10-6 in the PSAC West.
In the opening game against SRU, the Crimson Hawks slammed eight easy runs to gain a sturdy 8-1 lead.
“We completely dominated the [first] inning, which made us play loose and relaxed the rest of the day,” Hannah Mercer (sophomore, marketing) said.
Stephanie McCoy (senior, exercise science) and Mercer each blasted three-run homers while two RBI singles from Amy Fairman (senior, sports administration) and Meghan Carney (senior, early childhood and special education) added two more points to the board.
“My thoughts rounding the bases were completely about my team,” Mercer said. “The excitement was radiating out of everyone, since we had hit so well that inning.”
While steadily cruising to the mercy- rule victory, IUP blasted four more runs in the third inning from Fairman, Megan Gould (sophomore, early childhood and special education), McCoy and Allison Viguers (junior, marketing).
Slippery Rock gained only one run in the fifth, leaving the scoreboard reading a 12-2 win for IUP.
The women did not prepare any differently for the competition against SRU, according to head coach Bill Graham.
“We had been swinging the bats well in the past 10 days, and we kept that up,” he said.
For four-straight innings, Game 2 began with a 0-0 standstill between pitchers, despite a combined total of six hits for both teams.
SRU then ripped five runs in the top of the fifth, highlighted by a two-run homer.
The Crimson Hawks vigorously responded in the bottom with three RBI singles by Fairman, Mercer and McCoy.
Although IUP was down 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Mercer hit a two-out single through center field, scoring Fairman and Carney, tying the game, 5-5.
Lauren Hogue (junior, early childhood and special education) then forced a one-out walk.
As Viguers singled to right field, putting runners on the corners, Carney smashed a hit to SRU’s pitcher, who disregarded Hogue at third. As the pitcher threw to first, Hogue broke for home, scoring the game-winning run.
Emily Hofmann (sophomore, business management) defeated SRU in the sixth, and Alexa Campbell (senior, exercise science) stepped on the mound in the seventh as relief, pitching the Hawks out of a two-out jam.
Mercer totaled five hits and six RBIs for the day, while Viguers had four hits and Fairman had three RBIs.
“[The eight runs] really stopped SRU in their tracks,” Graham said. “I couldn’t have been prouder of their effort by both winning big and coming from behind for two huge victories.”
In Game 1 against Cal U, the Vulcans totaled 16 hits, scoring runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
On the other hand, IUP only had three hits total, two of which came from Carney.
“We didn’t do much right in any facet,” Graham said.
Campbell took the first loss, bringing her down to 7-7 of the spring season.
As Game 2 arrived, the Crimson Hawks tallied runs before the Vulcans – a good start to the competition.
“We wanted to stay focused and continue to work together to gain more of a lead,” Viguers said.
Francis singled to left in the second inning, bringing home Viguers. Then, Viguers singled home Mercer in the third, giving IUP a 2-0 lead.
As the pressure was building to keep the lead, Viguers stayed calm.
“I trust both my teammates and my skills,” Viguers said. “I just try to be aggressive and confident in myself that I can make something happen for my team.”
Cal U responded strong with an RBI base hit followed by a two-run homer, tallying three runs.
With bases loaded, Gould struck an infield hit, bringing home Hogue, tying the game at 3-3.
The Vulcans, once again, took back the lead in the seventh inning with a one-out double and a two-run home run for a 5-3 victory.
In Game 2, the Hawks recorded seven hits, with two each from Carney and Gould. Carney finished her day by going 4-for-6 with a double. Spindler took the loss in Game 2.
“We know we can play anyone,” Graham said. “But we have to show it on the field.”
IUP is scheduled for five doubleheaders in the next six days.
The Crimson Hawks will compete against Cal U, Monday; Seton Hill University, Tuesday; Mercyhurst University, Wednesday; and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Friday.