PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Lake Erie split a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games with Malone on Wednesday, with a 4-1 win in the opener being LEC's first conference victory in over two years.
Breaking a 63-game streak that started on March 31, 2012, Lake Erie got three home runs in taking game one against the Pioneers (9-15-1, 1-9 GLIAC). Malone bounced back for a 7-6 win in game two.
Left fielder Lindsay Valvoda went 5-for-8 with a double, a home run and three runs scored over the two games – the first of the season – at Bob Jones Field.
Amanda Anderson started the opener for Lake Erie (4-19, 1-11) and fell behind, 1-0, in the first inning. But working in and out of trouble numerous times after that, Anderson kept the Storm in the ballgame until the LEC offense got in gear late.
Anderson hung zeroes in the second, third and fourth, and in the bottom of the fourth Darrian Yanek hit a leadoff home run to left to tie the game, 1-1. Lake Erie left the potential go-ahead run on second later in that bottom of the fourth. But in the fifth both Valvoda and Yanek homered, and the Storm bolted to a 4-1 lead.
Anderson retired six of the final seven batters she faced in earning her first win of the season. She allowed just three singles and a double over a seven-inning stint. She walked three and fanned three in what marked her third complete game of the season.
The Storm scored two in the first, one in the second and two in the top of the fourth in taking a 5-0 lead by the midpoint of the second game. Lake Erie worked that lead to 6-0 and appeared to be on its way to a sweep of the home twin bill. But three costly fielding errors led to four Pioneer runs in the bottom of the fifth.
With momentum fully on the side of the visitors, Lake Erie saw its lead disappear an inning later. Then in the seventh, Malone broke a 6-6 tie with three singles in four at-bats.
The nightcap was constituted by a combined 26 hits and eight errors. The game took two hours-and-25 minutes to play.
Valvoda reached base four times (three hits, walk) in the game, and Elizabeth Karako went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and three RBIs.
In addition to breaking its GLIAC jinx in the opener, Lake Erie also ended a long drought at home – the Green & White hadn't won at Bob Jones Field since March 25, 2012, a stretch of 20 straight games.
Notes: Prior to their four-homer outburst on Wednesday, the Storm had hit just seven round-trippers this season. Darrian Yanek doubled her home-run total – she now has four on the season and is slugging .556. … Dating back to last Sunday, LEC now has 12 extra-base hits in a three-game span. Over their last six games, the Storm are batting .305/.370/.467 (batting/on-base/slugging). … Lake Erie did not commit an error in Wednesday's opener. That contest marked LEC's seventh errorless game of the year.
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