NORMAL, Ill. — Northern Iowa secured a series win over first place Illinois State in convincing fashion Sunday afternoon at Marian Kneer Stadium.
The Panthers erupted for six runs in the top half of the fifth inning and defeated Illinois State, 8-0, due to the mercy rule after five.
Kamryn Shaffer, Madison Parks and Adara Opiola each drove in runs, while UNI benefited from two errors and three walks in the fifth.
Prior to the Panthers’ big inning, Shaffer hit a home run in the second inning and Sammey Bunch drove in Sammy Moss with a sacrifice fly.
UNI ace Kailyn Packard improved to 18-5 by holding Illinois State to three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. The Panthers’ offense finished this game with eight hits.
With the victory, UNI (27-17, 17-7 Missouri Valley Conference) remains in contention with Illinois State (28-9, 14-5) for the league’s regular season title. The Panthers conclude conference play with a weekend home series against fourth place Southern Illinois at Robinson-Dresser Complex.
Illinois State finishes with a series at last place Valparaiso.
UNI 8, Illinois State 0
UNI 020 06 — 8 8 0
Illinois State 000 00 — 0 3 2