Andrasik throws first no-hitter at GV since 2008
The Grand Valley State University softball team isn’t just winning games, they’re continuing to set milestones and rewrite the record books.
Less than a week after senior Katie Martin’s home run that made her the all-time GLIAC leader in that category, freshman pitcher Sara Andrasik tossed the first no-hitter of her career and the first at GVSU since Lori Andejelich beat Mercyhurst 9-0 with a no-no on Mar. 29, 2008. It was also the fourth time this year that Andrasik has dished out a double-digit dosing of strikeouts – 13,12,11 and 10 K’s today in a 1-0 victory over second place conference foe Ferris State University.
“It’s a great feeling,” Andrasik said. “Everybody did their job on the field to back me up and it’s awesome to get that first no-hitter. It’s always a great feeling (Andrasik pitched three no-hitters and a perfect game in high school), but it’s even better doing it at the collegiate level – it means more.”
A dramatic sliding basket catch at the fence made by charging junior leftfielder Brittney Taylor sealed the game, and the no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh. Record-breaking performances are becoming commonplace at GVSU.
“She hit it and I was just thinking this better not go out,” Taylor said. “I knew it was between me and Nellie (Kosola, senior centerfielder) and I didn’t hear her so I just kept running. I knew I was just going to make a run for it and see what could happen, climb a fence if I have to. Right before that, we were saying that we’re climbing fences because they’re not about to hit a home run. I honestly had no idea (Andrasik was pitching a no-hitter). Good for her.”
Continuing her strong year, Martin put GVSU on the board in the first inning after she hit a deep ball to centerfield that ended up being a double. Kosola scored, giving GVSU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
“Katie (Martin) helped us, almost hit one out if the wind wasn’t blowing in, but we were able to score that run and some after it so that was great,” said GVSU head coach Doug Woods. “The first game (which GVSU won 4-2), we got timely hitting at the right time. People getting on base and it was sort of up and down the lineup, just not top, bottom, whatever, we had some contributions all the way through it which was great. We got the singles and the doubles and moved runners. We did a nice job of moving them down with the bunts and we executed real well, I thought.”
Senior Hannah Santora, who is now 13-0 on the year, is only three wins behind Jen Mackson’s 16-0 start in 2003 and was her usual gritty self in the game one victory. Santora figures to get at least eight more starts this season and as she climbs up the list of GVSU career strikeout elite, history is well within her grasp as well.
“Hannah pitched well- she’s a battler,” Woods said. “First inning, I think they had two on. I said ‘Hannah, you’re making it interesting, a little more than I’d like to see’, but she works and goes after it.”
Five of the top 11 home run hitters in Laker history are currently on the roster – Martin (47, first), junior Miranda Cleary (30, third), Junior Briauna Taylor (20, fifth), senior Kayleigh Bertram (19, sixth) and senior Emily Jones (15, 11th), Three of the top average hitters all-time are accounted for as well – Martin (.432, first), Briauna Taylor (.404, third) and Kosola (.387, fifth), who is also on pace for the all-time triple record and a top five all-time finish in career runs and hits. The history, 23 years of which have been spent under Woods, makes GVSU the softball program that is. The future, which considering the way the Lakers are playing at the moment appears bright.
GVSU, now 23-3 on the year (11-1 in the GLIAC) will be back in action Wednesday at 3 p.m. with a doubleheader against Lake Superior State University (7-10, 5-9 GLIAC) in a battle of the Lakers before entering a stretch of eight consecutive road games to be played over the next two weekends. With only 14-games (six at home) separating the Lakers from postseason play, GVSU is playing well on both sides of the ball and the history is ripe for the taking.
“I think we’re getting better competition now so it’s really a big test for us to see how we can fair against some of these different teams,” Taylor said. “Our defense has really held up and we’re doing a great job so we just got to keep going.”