Courtesy: Russell Hons for
Marina Marzolino had a pair of doubles Thursday.
Bears claw back to win Big Sky Tourney opener
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Release: 05/10/2018
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OGDEN, Utah-- Sixth-seeded Northern Colorado escaped with a 7-4 win over North Dakota in the first round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon at Weber State University. The Bears saw an early lead evaporate but rallied in the next inning to claim the win and send the Fighting Hawks to the losers' bracket in the double elimination tournament.

UNC (27-25) got on the board first with a three-spot in the second inning and added another tally in the third to stake the lowest seed in the tournament to a 4-0 advantage early.

In the fifth, North Dakota (25-27) got busy chipping away at the lead. The frame started with a Natalie Gerber leadoff double, part of what would be three extra-base hits in that inning alone. She'd come around to score on Victoria Minor's single up the middle for UND's first run. Two batters later, Taylor Nadler whacked a triple to right to slice the lead in half. With two down, Marina Marzolino doubled and Dani Romero singled to completely erase the deficit and chase Northern Colorado starter Valerie Vidal.

Northern Colorado, however, struck for three in the top of the next inning to take control and get into the UND bullpen. Hannah Bergh came on to get the final out of that inning and worked a drama-free seventh to set the stage for a final rally.

Taylor Nadler roped a one-out double to left center but UND got no further damage in the seventh and the Bears hung on for the 7-4 victory to advance to play second-seeded Weber State later in the day Thursday.

Each team tallied eight hits with Nadler and Marzolino each collecting two hits, all extra-base knocks. Romero, VanDomelen, Gerber and Minor had the other hits for North Dakota. VanDomelen took the loss in the circle, pitching 5.2 innings with seven runs on eight hits with an uncharacteristic five walks.

North Dakota will play Montana, who lost to Sacramento State in its second game Thursday to fall to the losers' bracket. UND swept Montana in a home series played at the Alerus Center March 30-31.

Notes: Gerber extended her streak of reaching base safely to eight consecutive games ... Nadler recorded her 13th multi-hit game (leads the team) ... Her double in the seventh gave her 15 on the season, two shy of the single-season record at UND ... Marzolino stole her 10th base of the season and is still perfect for her career in that category (11-11).

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