Gleason picks up 100th career win as Norse avoid sweep against CSU


Colin Johnson

Ava Lawson swings at a pitch high in the zone against Cleveland State

Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State took to the field one more time to wrap up a three-game series on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon. The game was moved from noon to 1 p.m. due to inclement weather.

The Norse picked up the 4-2 win, avoiding a three game sweep.  The Norse improve to 13-31 overall and 7-11 in conference play. The Vikings suffered their 38th lose on the season and 13th in conference play.

“This was a big win for us,” head coach Kathryn Gleason said. “Our approach was much different today. We tried to do too much yesterday at the plate. Our goal today was to get the ball in play.”

The win today was Gleason’s 100th career win as a coach.

“I’m happy I was able to reach this point (100th win), but I don’t always think about it. It’s been a great ride so far,” Gleason said. “Coaches don’t win games, the players do so I am thankful for them.”

Charlie Nolen took to the circle to start the game for the Norse and quickly retired the side in order. The Norse struck first to open the game to an early 1-0 lead in an unconventional way. A leadoff walk for Toree Stalter was followed by a Syndey Ferrante grounder to second base where a throwing error occurred. Ferrante got herself in a pickle and stalled for enough time for Stalter to make it all the way to home safely.

Nolen retired the first six batters of the game before giving up a leadoff single to open the third. She eventually scored on an RBI single to right field to tie the game at one.

Freshman Ava Lawson made several great defensive plays in this game. She madea diving grab to end the second inning and then  gunned down a runner heading to third base in the top of the fourth.

The Norse opened the game up in the fourth with a two-out walk and four straight hits, including a two-run RBI single by Taylor Brummell and an RBI double by Zehrya McFarland to give the Norse a 4-1. The Norse left the bases loaded to end the inning.
NKU showed more signs of striking in the fifth with a leadoff walk followed by a stolen base by pinch runner Isabell Alexander, her second snag of the season. The Norse however were unable to plate the run.

The Vikings were able to plate a run in the sixth after two two-out singles to make it a 4-2 game but they could no more for the rest of the game against Nolen.

Charlie Nolen took control of the game from there  and went the distance to pick up her team-leading seventh win of the season.

“Charlie played great today. She struggled bit yesterday but I think the first inning really set the tone for her today,” Gleason said.

After giving up seven runs in game one of the Friday’s doubleheader, Nolen gave up eight hits and only two runs with five strikeouts on Saturday.

“I really wanted to do it for my team,” Nolen said. “I told myself before the game that I’m playing for my team and I know that I have their back and they know I have their back.”

Alina Maher went 2-3 with a run scored for the Norse while Taylor Brummell was 2-3 with two RBI at the plate.

Alicia Major lasted just 3.2 innings for the Vikings, giving up four runs on five hits. Melissa Jacobsen went 3-4 at the plate and scored a run and recorded an RBI.
The Norse will travel to the University of Dayton to clash with the Flyers on Tuesday for a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. before returning home for senior day to take on Green Bay Friday and Saturday.