MEQUON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Lutheran College softball team split its third straight doubleheader Wednesday, falling 3-0 against Concordia Wisconsin in the opener before holding on for a 9-6 win in game two at CUW Softball Field.
Game two began as a pitcher's dual after the score stood 0-0 through three and a half innings. The Warriors stranded the bases loaded in the fourth after three hits, but couldn't drive a run home. The Falcons grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth off a solo home run from Alyssa Robison.
CUW's lead was short-lived, however, as WLC responded with three runs on five hits in the third. Morgan O'Hanlon (Lowell, Ind./Lowell), Alicia Barbian (Waterford, Wis./Waterford), and Jenny Rechlicz (West Allis, Wis./Nathan Hale) each recorded RBI singles in the frame. The Warriors had the bases loaded after Rechlicz's single with just one out, but were unable to tack on any more runs. The Falcons added a run in their half of the fifth on a passed ball and tied the scored a 3-3 in the sixth, scoring off another passed ball.
The Warriors' offense responded with some timely hitting in the seventh. Tara Degl'Innocenti's (Lisle, Ill./Naperville North) inside the park home run scored Emily Sievert (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) and gave the visitors a 5-3 lead with one out. Two batters later, Niki Cottini (Plainfield, Ill./North) registered the first of four straight two-out hits and Brittney Blazich (Bristol, Wis./Westosha Central) cleared the bases with a three-run triple for an 8-3 lead. Blazich later scored on a passed ball for a 9-3 cushion.
The Falcons (13-11, 7-3 NACC) didn't go down easy as their first five batters reached base in the seventh, trimming the deficit to 9-6. Kendra Thomas (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) then retired the final three batters in order as the Warriors held on for the win over their NACC rivals.
Blazich finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored and Degl'Innocenti went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. WLC finished with 14 hits, the most in its last 10 games. Thomas won her league-leading 13th game of the season, allowing six runs (four earned) on 10 hits over 7.0 innings.
Alyssa Robison was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Falcons. She was one of four players to tally two hits in the contest. Melissa Perkins was dealt the loss in the circle after she gave up seven runs on 12 hits.
Game one showcased strong pitching as the two teams combined for just 10 hits. The Warriors' best scoring threat came right away in the first as they placed runners on the corners with two outs, but couldn't plate a run.
Scoreless through two and a half, the Falcons went ahead 2-0 behind back-to-back RBI doubles from Jennifer Reicher and Mariah Giesseman. CUW plated its third and final run of the game in the fifth off a throwing error. WLC registered a pair of singles in the seventh, but the Falcons escaped the frame with no harm done.
Offensively, four different Warriors recorded one hit in the game. Thomas tossed all 6.0 innings, scattered six hits, and struckout three to suffer the loss.
Giesseman and Alexis Holsten combined for four of CUW's six hits as they each went 2-for-3. Jamie Schuh improved to 5-2 on the year as she allowed only four hits over 7.0 innings in the circle.
WLC (14-10, 6-4 NACC) travels to Naperville, Ill., tomorrow for a 3 p.m. non-conference doubleheader against 18th-ranked North Central (19-3). Links to live audio and stats will be available for both contests at wlcsports.com.