CHICAGO – Adara Opiola’s single to right in the top of the ninth provided the winning runs as Northern Iowa topped Loyola of Chicago, 3-1, in a Missouri Valley Conference softball game Saturday.
The Panthers won two of three from the Ramblers to improve to 21-4 overall and 11-4 in the MVC.
With the game knotted at 1 in the top of the ninth, Madison Parks walked and advanced to third on a Sammey Bunch double. Opiola followed with a single down the right field line that scored both Parks and Bunch.
Kailyn Packard picked up her 13th win of the season going the distance while allowing just five hits and striking out eight.
Bunch was 2-for-5, and Opiola went 3-for-4 with a double.
Loyola scored its only run in the first, while UNI tied the score in the fourth when Taylor Hogan walked and scored on Sammy Moss’ double.
UNI returns to action Tuesday in Des Moines with two games against Drake.
UNI 3, LOYOLA 1 (9)
No. Iowa 000 100 002 — 3 7 0
Loyola 100 000 000 — 1 5 3
Kailyn Packard and Emmy Wells. Sydney Ruggles, Madison Veres (5) and Abbey Jacobsen. WP – Packard (13-5). LP – Veres (3-6). 2B – UNI: Bunch, Opiola, Moss. LC: Ivey, Engelking.