Fornal helps YSU in split with Akron
She drove in the winning run in the second game of a doubleheader.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
CANFIELD -- The University of Akron softball team didn't show a lot of respect for Youngstown State junior Jamie Fornal Thursday in the second game of their doubleheader at McCune Park.
The Zips intentionally walked YSU's top hitter McKenzie Bedra three straight times to get to Fornal. On the final time, she made them pay.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 3-3 tie, Fornal ripped a single up the middle and brought home senior Lacy Bronson with what proved to be the winning run in a 4-3 victory in the second game of the twinbill.
Suffer 9-0 loss in opener
The Penguins (12-13) weren't as impressive in the opener as they committed seven errors and got only one hit in a 9-0 loss to Akron that ended after five innings.
"It was nice to bounce back with a win after the way we played in the first game," said YSU head coach Christy Cameron.
Cameron went with freshmen pitchers Erin Schindler and Cheryl Cale in the opening game, but the two youngsters really had no support from their teammates.
The Zips scored seven times in the third inning and the Penguins couldn't solve Akron's winning pitcher, Lindsay Bodeker.
The nightcap was a different story.
Even when Akron (12-19) broke out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Penguins never panicked.
Senior pitcher Karlie Burnell shut down the Zips after that inning, giving up just a fourth inning home run to Akron's Julie Boyes as she limited the Zips to three hits after the first frame.
"She's [Burnell] a veteran, she's been through it before and when she's out there we just follow her lead," said Fornal, who caught both games of the doubleheader.
Fornal also said that she was starting to get bothered about the way the Zips kept walking Bedra, who went into the doubleheader hitting .428, to get to her.
"It bothered me some, and probably was the fact that I didn't do anything the first two times they did it," she said. "But I went up that third time and said I just wanted a line drive up the middle."
Singled home game winner
She settled for a sharp ground ball up the middle, that brought home Bronson, who had opened the inning with a double to left field, her third hit of the game.
"They kept pitching me outside most of the game, so I just went with the pitch," said the left-hand hitting outfielder.
The Penguins had 10 hits in the nightcap, five of them from Bronson and Fornal.
They loaded the bases with two outs in the first on three singles, but couldn't score and had two runners on in the third and came away empty.
In the fourth, with the help of a couple of Akron errors, the Penguins scored twice to pull to within a run 3-2.
McDonnell triples in fifth
YSU tied the game in the fifth when sophomore Kristen McDonnell led off with a triple into right-center field and scored on Bethany Hafley's single over the first base bag.
Then came the sixth and Bronson lined a double into left. After Autumn Grove struck out, the Zips decided to walk Bedra a third time in the game. (They intentionally walked her four times on the day).
After both runs moved up a base on a wild pitch thrown by Bodeker, who relieved Sara Tervo in the fourth and took the loss, Fornal ripped a 2-1 pitch right up the middle with Bronson scoring and Sarah Conklin, who went in to pinch run for Bedra, stopping at third. Fornal stole second, but Bodeker retired the next to batters to get out of the inning,
Burnell retired the Zips in order in the seventh to improve to 9-5 on the year.
YSU will be on the road this weekend for Horizon League action at Butler University with a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game Sunday.