MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team opened its 2014 conference season Saturday, splitting a doubleheader with MSOE at MSOE Athletic Field. The Raiders finished strong to win game one 13-2, but the Warriors bounced back for an 8-0 game two victory.
In game two, WLC was able to put together a 2-0 advantage after one inning. With the bases loaded, Tara Degl'Innocenti (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North) was hit by a pitch to send Morgan O'Hanlon (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) home, and Jenny Rechlicz (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) drew a walk in the following at-bat to bring home Jinny Curtis (Muskego, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran).
The Warriors kept things going in the second as Dayan Gacgacao (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) drew a leadoff walk and crossed home for a 3-0 lead following a Brittney Blazich (Bristol, Wis./Westosha Central) triple. WLC pushed across three more runs in the inning to double its lead at 6-0.
After starter Kendra Thomas (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) retired her sixth straight MSOE batter in the third, the Warriors continued to apply pressure in their half of the frame. Mindy Schalinske (Burlington, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) advanced home on a passed ball, and Gacgacao later scored as the Raiders forced an out at first to bring the score to 8-0.
Thomas induced three straight outs in the fifth to end the game after 5.0 innings. She allowed only three hits with no walks, adding four strikeouts to move to 6-3 on the season. O'Hanlon finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and two runs. Degl'Innocenti also drove in two runs, while Curtis and Gacgacao each scored twice.
Shannon Curtis allowed eight runs to take the loss for MSOE. Three different Raiders each recorded one hit.
The Warriors also scored first in the opener, taking a 1-0 lead after one following a Blazich score on a double steal attempt. MSOE quickly answered as Lauren Boyle homered to left field to leadoff the next inning and tie the game at 1-1.
WLC regained the lead in the third when Gacgacao scored on a Curtis groundout. The Raiders responded again in their next inning, taking a 3-2 lead after Callie Wightman's two-run double. MSOE never looked back, scoring twice more in the fifth and four runs in both the sixth and seventh to win 13-2.
Sara McConnell improved to 4-1 for the Raiders (7-5, 1-1 NACC), striking out eight and allowing just one earned run. Alyssa Brueser led the offense with four RBI, two runs, and two hits. Boyle went 2-for-2 with two RBI and three runs scored, while three other players also had two RBI.
The Warriors (6-6, 1-1 NACC) play another doubleheader tomorrow at Alverno (3-8, 0-2 NACC). First pitch of game one is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Alverno Field. Links to live stats and live video will be available for both games at wlcsports.com.