NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Lake Erie headed south for warmer climes on Monday, but the Storm had their bats cooled by superb pitching as Grand Valley State (Mich.) swept LEC in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action on Monday. The Lakers won both games via the shutout, closing out the Storm 4-0 and 11-0.
The Storm and the Lakers got in the games at the softball grounds of Walsh University. The neutral field was dry enough, and temperatures worked their way into the 50s in game two. But for Lake Erie's offense, the bases weren't used often enough against a Grand Valley squad that owned a 2.90 ERA heading into the day.
GVSU's Sara Andrasik and Lauren Gevaart tossed a combined 12 innings for the Lakers, allowing just seven hits in the twin shutouts.
Lake Erie (3-13, 0-4 GLIAC) has now lost four straight games. Grand Valley State (14-5, 3-1) has now won three straight games, with all three being shutout victories over GLIAC foes.
Game 1 Andrasik allowed a first-inning hit and then went the rest of the way without yielding another in a seven-frame shutout. Hannah Francis collected LEC's lone hit.
The Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, and those would be the game's only runs until the sixth when GVSU doubled its lead. Amanda Anderson went the route for the Storm, and she scattered six singles while walking one and fanning five.
Andrasik only walked one; she also struck out five. Jenna Lenza and Briauna Taylor both had two hits in the contest; Grand Valley outhit Lake Erie, 6-1.
Game 2 Grand Valley pounced for six runs in the second inning, and the Lakers then scored five in the bottom of the third. GVSU batted around in both innings, clubbing a double and two home runs in the process.
The outburst chased Lake Erie starter Hannah Shevenell, who allowed 10 runs on nine hits in 2-1/3 innings. Katarina Davis pitched the final inning-and-two-thirds in the five-inning run-rule affair. She yielded one run on three hits and four walks.
Lindsay Valvoda had a single and a double in three at-bats, but Lauren Gevaart scattered LEC's offensive contributions and pitched well in the clutch. Lake Erie was held to an 0-for-6 mark with runners in scoring position.
The Storm are scheduled to play a neutral-site game at Walsh again on Tuesday when they face Ferris State in a doubleheader. First pitch in the opener is slated for 2 p.m.
Notes: Lake Erie's Monday scoring drought came on the heels of the team averaging 5.3 runs per game over its previous four. For the season, LEC is now averaging 3.0 RPG overall. …Jeniffer Gratz went 0-for-3 in the opener and then 1-for-2 in game two. Gratz had an eight-game hit streak snapped in game one. … Lindsay Valvoda's two-hit game in the nightcap marked her third multi-hit contest of the season. Valvoda's double in the second game marked her team-leading sixth of the year. … The Monday shutouts marked Lake Erie's first scoreless games of the season. The Storm were shut out 18 times in 2013.