NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Northern Iowa split a pair of tightly contested games Saturday at Belmont University’s Bruin Classic softball tournament.
The Panthers opened the day with a 4-3 victory over Butler, but ended it with an 8-6 setback to host Belmont.
UNI got off to a roaring start in the opener when the Panthers loaded the bases in the first inning and Jaclyn Spencer cleared them with a double.
Sammey Bunch added an RBI single in the top of the sixth, which proved important when Butler rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Brooke Craig came in and slammed the door with two hitless innings of relief.
Brittney Roby was 2-for-2 and Kennedy Bailey 3-for-4 for UNI.
In the second game, UNI pushed across five runs in the top of the fifth to take a 6-1 lead, but Belmont plated six in the bottom half of the inning for a 7-6 edge.
Roby had two hits, Brittany Krodinger had two hits and knocked in four runs and Bailey belted a two-run homer for the Panthers.
UNI (11-7) wraps up the tournament Sunday against North Carolina A&T.
UNI 4, BUTLER 3
UNI 300 001 0 — 4 9 1
Butler 000 012 0 — 3 7 0
Spencer, Craig (6) and Chesser. Schnaiter, Doud (6) and Andersen. WP — Spencer (4-3). Sv — Craig (1). 3B — Roby (UNI), Spencer (UNI), Andersen (But). 3B — Doud (But).
Records: UNI 11-6, Butler 3-8.
BELMONT 8, UNI 6
UNI 000 150 0 — 6 8 2
Belmont 010 061 x — 8 9 2
Olejniczak, Craig (5), Spencer (6) and B. Krodinger. Lee, Veltri (5) and McKee. WP — Veltri (2-2). LP — Spencer (4-4). 2B — Bunch (UNI), B. Krodinger (UNI), Rouse (Bel). HR — Bailey (UNI), Thomas (Bel).
Records: UNI 11-7, Belmont 9-3.