Etherington No-Hitter; Raiders Earn Run Rule Victories

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Northwestern College softball team (14-0, 0-0 GPAC) continued their winning ways picking up two more wins today against Roosevelt (Ill.) (2-3, 0-0 CCAC) and Kansas Wesleyan (3-8, 0-0 KCAC), to wrap up Day 1 of the Tucson Invitational Games.

Game one saw Northwestern’s Kameryn Etherington (So., Algona, Iowa/Algona) throw the 15th no-hitter in Northwestern College softball history, giving the Raiders the 8-0 win. Game two saw Bri Giordano (Jr., Arroyo Grande, Calif./Arroyo Grande) rack up four RBIs and lead Northwestern to an 11-3 win.

Game 1: NWC 8, Roosevelt 0 (F/5)
The first inning saw Giordano hit a double to left field, she was replaced by a double from Gwen Mikkelson (Jr., Casa Grande, Ariz./Mission Heights Prep) giving the Raiders an early 1-0 lead. An error in the top of the first allowed one runner to reach but Etherington didn’t allow a hit and shut the door.

The second inning saw more runs from the Raiders. A Chloe Gallegos (Fr., Carroll, Iowa/Carroll) double started off the inning, she then stole third. Emily Strasser (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D./Sioux Falls Christian) walked and then Charli Bomgaars (Fr., Boyden, Iowa/Boyden-Hull) singled advancing Strasser to second. With the bases loaded Jennifer Boeve (Jr., Hastings, Neb./Hastings Senior) put a ball in play but Gallegos was thrown out at home. A passed ball allowed Strasser to score (2-0). Erika McKenney (So., Hawarden, Iowa/West Sioux) hit a ground out RBI, scoring Bomgaars giving the Raiders a 3-0 lead. An error allowed Giordano to reach and Boeve scored pushing the lead to 4-0. A caught stealing would end the inning. Etherington would continue to be dominant and tossed a three-up-three down inning.

The Raiders would tack on four more runs in the top of the third. Jordyn Kramer (Sr., Larchwood, Iowa/West Lyon) would single and score Mikkelson (5-0). Gallegos and Bomgaars would single and Kramer would score to give the Raiders a six-run lead. Boeve would smack a two-RBI double to extend the lead to 8-0. Etherington would answer with another one, two, three inning.

The top of the fourth was a quiet one from the Raiders; however, Etherington would continue her no-hit bid. The defense provided some help after a walk and another batter reaching on an error. The runner was thrown out at second after the error. With one out and a runner on first, a Laker batter would line into a double play and keep the no-hitter alive.

All eyes were on Etherington in the bottom of the fifth. With her no-hitter still alive a fly out, and two ground outs would complete the bid.

Etherington’s no-hitter is against Roosevelt is the second of her career, the first coming against Briar Cliff last season. This is the third no-hitter under head coach Shane Bouman. The shutout this marks the fourth of the season by the Raider pitching staff. She tallied her seventh win of the season (7-0), threw all five innings, walked one, struck out one, and faced 16 Laker hitters in the no-hitter.

The Raiders offense notched four doubles, went five-for-six on stolen base attempts, and all eight runs were scored in the first three innings.

Game 2: NWC 11, Kansas Wesleyan 3 (F/5)
Game two on the day saw the Raiders take on the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan, out of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). Another run-rule game saw Northwestern finish the game in five innings, 11-3. This marks the fifth game of the season that the Raiders have scored 10 or more runs.

Kate Kralik (Fr., Indianola, Iowa/Indianola) picked up where Etherington left off, starting the game with a three up, three down inning – striking out the side. Boeve notched the first hit of the game with a single to right field. A sacrifice would move Boeve to second and a Giordano single would score her giving the Raiders the early lead (1-0).

The Coyotes would respond with two runs of their own in the second inning, taking the 2-1 lead. Northwestern was quick to respond in the bottom of the second, scoring five runs and they would never look back. Gallegos started things off with a double, she was followed by Strasser who singled and scored Gallegos (2-2). A Bomgaars double would score Strasser, Bomgaars would steal third and then score on a passed ball (4-2). Giordano would double and score Madysn Grotewold (So., Larchwood, Iowa/West Lyon), who singled earlier. Etherington would finish up the scoring with an RBI double, scoring Giordano and giving the Raiders a 6-2 lead.

A solo home run by Kansas Wesleyan would trim the lead to 6-3. Northwestern would tack on two more runs on RBI singles from Boeve and Giordano in the third, taking an 8-3 lead to the fourth inning.

Kralik would toss another three up, three down inning in the top half of the fourth; and the Raiders would tack on two more runs in their half to stretch their lead. A Strasser single would score Brooke Zylstra (So., Hull, Iowa/Boyden-Hull), and a McKenney double would score Kramer, making it 10-3 Raiders.

Kralik would allow a walk but would not allow the Coyotes to get anything else going offensively in the fifth, holding them at three runs and striking out two in the inning. Giordano would push across the game-ending run, as Northwestern prevailed 11-3 to improve to 14-0 on the season and earn the sweep of the day.

Kralik would toss a complete game and earn her seventh win of the season (7-0). Giordano, Boeve, Etherington, and Strasser would all have a multi-hit game, with Giordano tallying four RBIs for the game.

Up Next: The Raiders will face two ranked teams tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8, starting with a receiving votes Aquinas College (Mich.) squad at 11:00 a.m. (CT). Game two will see Northwestern battle with the No. 9-ranked Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) Tigers, of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), at 1:15 p.m. (CT).